Climate Change

 
Canadian Quakers are working on climate change and environmental issues

Climate change, pollution, and the loss of biodiversity are incredibly pressing and important issues. They impact on every area of our work. We work with partners to amplify our collective impact in addressing these cross-cutting issues.

We recognize that there are many nonprofits in Canada doing effective work on environmental issues and so we are conscious of not duplicating their efforts or trying to “reinvent the wheel.”

We’re involved with KAIROS, which brings together 10 Canadian churches to work on ecological justice.

We support the Quaker United Nations Offices, which have the human impacts of climate change as a focus area. They have produced resources like A Government Official’s Toolkit: Inspiring Urgent Climate Action (PDF) and Climate Justice and the Use of Human Rights Law in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (PDF). They are also helping to collect and share information about Quaker work on climate change happening around the globe.

We work alongside our Indigenous partners in their struggle for the full realization of Indigenous peoples’ human rights. This work often has an environmental and climate change related dimension. Consider for example the Site C dam or various pipelines.

Our work on peace and demilitarization is intimately connected to the climate. Militaries have massive carbon footprints, and in many countries (including Canada), this isn’t reported on and the military is exempt from emissions reductions targets.

Simply put, in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, our world must demilitarize. There can be no successful environmental movement without building a more peaceful world. States have to redirect precious resources from weapons systems into addressing the climate crisis and providing healthcare, education, and other vital services.

For a helpful overview of some of the data on the Canadian and US militaries’ contributions to climate change see:

Our work on synthetic biology has focused on the social, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of new and emerging technologies, encouraging deeper reflection on how we relate to the living world around us.

Where appropriate, we sign on to joint statements and write open letters to government on environmental issues from climate change to the accountability gap in the extractive industries.

CFSC makes individual grants available to Canadian Quakers with leadings on environmental care and other justice and peace issues.

Canadian Friends, with the support of their Meetings, often act under concern about climate change. In some cases Friends have been led to engage in nonviolent direct action, in the last resort even risking arrest for opposing environmental devastation as an expression of their faith and an act of love.

Individual Canadian Friends are also active with many environmental groups like Quaker Earthcare Witness. Toronto Friend Lyn Adamson is one example. Lyn is supported by Toronto Meeting to offer a program to Friends and other community and faith groups across Canada. Designed by ClimateFast in an initiative called Kitchen Table Climate Conversations, it has also been adopted by KAIROS and Citizens for Public Justice and developed into a faith-based model called Faithful Climate Conversations.

The conversation model is suitable for small groups, and focuses around sharing and consideration of solutions in response to the climate crisis. Lyn is available to arrange for facilitators for these conversations. If your group would like to offer one (or more), feel free to contact her.

Lyn Adamson gives a Kitchen Table Climate Conversations presentation at Toronto Meeting.
Lyn Adamson discusses Kitchen Table Climate Conversations at Friends House in Toronto

Finally, Canadian Friends Service Committee uses investment screens that take climate change seriously. Our investments are 100% fossil fuel industry free as certified by 350.org. We also take measures to reduce our own carbon footprint throughout our work, such as limiting travel as much as possible, recycling materials, and reducing our consumption of electricity and supplies in the CFSC office.