Quakers join actions to mark postponed climate talks

As the original date of the COP26 climate talks approaches, Quakers in Britain have joined more than 60 UK faith representatives in calling on the Prime Minister to commit to ambitious emissions reductions in line with the need to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees.

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Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to put forward Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) stating the level of emissions cuts and adaptation measures they are committing to. In a public letter, Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, and representatives from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities urge the UK government to show leadership by announcing an ambitious NDC as soon as possible.

The letter, which was initiated by Faith for the Climate and The Climate Coalition, is part of a concerted effort to put pressure on the government to take stronger action before the end of the year. Similar letters signed by health professionals and academics have also been sent to the Prime Minister.

The interfaith letter notes the efforts made by many faith communities to reduce their own climate impact, including by divesting from fossil fuels. It warns that “[t]he international community and civil society will assess the UK NDC against the UK's 'fair share' of the global effort of achieving 1.5", based on its historic and current emissions and its wealth. The full text can be found on the Faith for Climate website (PDF).

The COP26 climate negotiations were originally due to be held from 9-19 November 2020, but have now been postponed to November 2021.

As part of global efforts to organise ahead of COP26, Quakers in Britain are also supporting From the Ground Up, an online gathering organised by the COP26 Coalition. The global gathering runs from 12-16 November and will provide space to educate, activate and strategise, to build power and connect with others in the climate justice movement. Read the programme and register for From the Ground Up.

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