How a local study group became climate champions

In this video interview Quaker Rosemary Hartill explains how exploring climate justice materials with her local book group led them to take action together and individually.

In this video, Rebecca Woo (Campaigns & Advocacy Coordinator for the Economics and Sustainability team at Quakers in Britain) interviews Rosemary Hartill. Rosemary is based in Edinburgh, but has for 18 years been facilitating two book groups out of a second-hand bookshop in Alnwick, Northumberland, near where she lived for many years.

In May 2020, Rosemary asked the book group members whether they would like to explore together the materials for the Citizens' Assembly on Climate Change, which had met earlier that year. The talks, videos and transcripts are all freely available online.

Over the course of six weeks in the summer, 11 people worked through the materials and met weekly to discuss them. It was a space for participants to fill in gaps in their knowledge and to process what they learned together. The group were amazed by how much they didn't know.

At times, this was very challenging, but many in the group found the experience life-changing and energising. Equipped with the statistics they learned, the space to discuss how to respond to the crisis and stories of solutions elsewhere in the world, many of the group have gone on to take action together and individually.

The group has continued to meet monthly for mutual support and now goes by the name Green Light.

Correction: Rosemary refers to Mary Robinson as former UN High Commissioner for Climate. In fact she was a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was also twice appointed by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Envoy on Climate.

Find out more about work for climate justice