As we approach the COP26 UN climate conference, the urgency of addressing climate issues is pressing. Friends worldwide are, with others, taking action, from art activism, advocacy and prayer to nonviolent witness, to urge governments to make choices that will contribute to justice and to the wellbeing of the planet.
Links between peace and climate disruption have long been part of NFPB’s agenda. We are currently working with networks that focus on different elements of this. We have pulled together relevant resources on our webpage here, with links to Quaker and non-Quaker sites.
Up to and beyond the COP26 conference, decisions that governments and corporations make need to be set in the wider context of rethinking of what contributes to peace and to security for all. Increasing spending on armaments is bad for peace in its own right, but also takes funding, resources, and political energy away from addressing the insecurity that comes from climate disruption.
As well as the actions over the coming month, there are opportunities for Friends to keep in touch with and contribute to, for instance:
– the Global Campaign on Military Spending, whose UK website states starkly “Government spending to reduce UK carbon emissions is dwarfed by new spending on weapons of war.”, as well as noting the scale and nature of the impact on the environment of emissions from military activity.
– the Rethinking Security network, which is now beginning its Alternative Security Review project. The network’s coordinator Richard Reeve writes: “We aim to change the way that security policy is generated, towards an approach that fundamentally promotes peace, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Such a strategy should prioritise inclusion, equality, accountability and wellbeing at home, as well as a vision of shared global security and a commitment to the ecological security of our planet.”
NFPB also continues to offer workshops for Friends – currently still online – on rethinking security and other issues; these are opportunities to reflect together, perhaps with Friends from other Meetings, and to find ways of taking action. Our calendar also lists a range of related events and opportunities. Finally, we are also making available the image used at the head of this article for Friends and others to use as a poster, placard etc. in the coming weeks in different settings.