The Religious Society of Friends witnesses to the truth of our times. In this moment, we recognize that we are facing an existential crisis that requires a response greater than individual actions. The systemic structures as well as the daily choices of peoples, governments and faith communities across the globe must act in radical concert to address the climate catastrophe we have created.
As world leaders come together for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP28), Philadelphia Yearly Meeting calls on them to acknowledge that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of human induced climate change. They must clearly state that addressing the existential crisis of climate change requires ending our dependence on fossil fuels. We call on COP28 negotiators to commit to implementing the global financing fund that was approved at COP27, recognizing that many of the nations that are hardest hit by a warming climate have been the least responsible for the crisis and also are least able to cope with the consequences.
The continued burning of fossil fuels is destabilizing the climate, acidifying oceans, and destroying the natural systems that humans and all living creatures depend on. Friends in the mid-atlantic region are guided by the query on Stewardship of the Environment in Faith and Practice that asks how we are concerned that human interaction with nature be responsible, guided by a reverence for life and a sense of the splendor of God’s continuing Creation?” Every Friend, household, and meeting in our community is asked to be responsive to this query and we all ask our neighbors around the world to take immediate and practical steps to reverse our dependence on fossil fuels and demonstrate a communal reverence for interdependent life.
This statement is made possible by PYM’s Climate Witness Stewards who play the essential role of helping us be accountable to our commitment.
There is conference coverage on the UN‘s Climate Change Conference Blog
The EcoJustice Collaborative has provided this information for Friends:
- World Resources Institute offers six different resources for connecting to COP28
- Friends Committee on National Legislation provides information about how the United States can support International Climate Finance, which will be an important focus of this year’s COP