NOTE: For many years, individual Friends and Meetings have taken action in response to these minutes and their own leadings, and Friends organizations, including AFSC, FCNL, FWCC,QUNO and QEW, have spoken out about the threat of climate disruption to world peace, to civil society, and to our most vulnerable populations. Although our Yearly Meeting has supported specific actions to address this crisis, we have not made protecting the future of life on earth an on-going corporate witness.
1972: The Yearly Meeting adopted its first query on concern for the sanctity of life on Earth and reverence for all creation: “Query #10—Are you concerned that our increased power over nature should not be used irresponsibly but with reverence for life and with a sense of the splendor of God’s continuing creation?”
1989 and 1993: The Environmental Working Group urged the Yearly Meeting to heed its own query on the environment, to recognize care for the earth as a religious concern and an extension of our testimonies on peace, justice and simplicity.
1998-2015: PYM approved seven minutes recognizing our commitment to caring for the earth as an expression of our faith. Excerpts from these minutes include:
The world is God’s creation. How we treat the earth and all its creatures is basic to our relationship with God, and of fundamental religious concern to the Society of Friends
We unite in urging individual Friends, monthly meetings, and other Friends’ organizations to seek Divine Guidance in understanding how to reduce our own use of energy and material resources, to support strong international agreements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to participate in a transition to less damaging technologies in our industries, agriculture, buildings and transportation.
We call upon the Yearly Meeting, in all its manifestations, to seek ways to hold our members lovingly accountable to live in God’s world in a more environmentally sustainable fashion and to join other like-minded groups and organizations in supporting this concern.
We charge ourselves to examine all of our facilities and programs so as to continually ask, as a religious community, how we can live in God’s world in a more environmentally sustainable fashion. . . [we] charge all Standing Committees and the working groups under their care to explore the implications of climate change and energy concerns for their work.
PYM encourages its Clerk and empowers the General Secretary and Councils as they are led to pursue opportunities and communicate publicly on behalf of PYM in support of strategic and effective efforts to abate climate change, as appropriate to their positions of leadership.