Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section


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Quakers and the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit

British Friends Laura and Gerald Conyngham arrived in style in Copenhagen for the Summit:
We have done it! Here we are on arrival in Copenhagen City Square. Our 140 mile cycle ride was emotional, exciting and utterly amazing, fortunately with no rain or snow. As a group of 28, we ranged in age from 15 to 72 and were united in our passion for climate justice. We took part in an international rally and a moving ecumenical service. We watched as Desmond Tutu received 512,894 carbon-cutting pledges from around the world, including 322 from Crediton.
See video clips of our bike ride
Look out for the banner on Laura’s back reading:-
If you have donated already to Christian Aid, thank you so much. If you can still help, follow the link.

Those of us who did not go to Copenhagen held in the Light all who gathered there for this Summit. Friends represented Quakers’ long standing testimonies to Simplicity, Equality, Integrity and Peace so much needed in today’s world – read the report 5 Copenhagen report.doc by Mary Gilbert of Earthcare Witness .

In the summer of 2009, the Executive Committee of the Europe and Middle East Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC-EMES) warmly endorsed the Climate Statement prepared by Britain Yearly Meeting for the Copenhagen Conference. The statement said: “We are grateful for the initiative and leadership of British Friends, who are proving a catalyst for reflection and discernment among Friends more widely in the Section on a topic that continues to provoke debate and controversy. Unity, though not yet complete, is emerging on the urgency for action to accompany words and intentions, in a spirit of solidarity and in the pursuit of justice for all who live on our fragile planet. We recognise that any change needs to start with our own commitment to making drastic alterations to our own lifestyle, whilst bearing in mind that in parts of the Section, particularly in the East, Friends lag far behind in wealth and access to material resources. We hope that individual Meetings around the Section will continue to explore the issues for them, and respond out of their own experience.

Quakers share a sense of awe at the miracle of the biosphere and the abundance of life on earth and are motivated by love and respect for the whole of creation. We are called to invest creatively all the resources we have been given to preserve life and diversity. Failure to stem climate change will increase immensely the suffering of humans and their fellow creatures by making additional areas of the planet uninhabitable.

We hope for bold decisions – as much as 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, and imaginative, tangible schemes, such as reforestation and much increased use of renewable sources of energy.

We believe that faith plays a vital part in humanity’s ability to face up to and overcome improbable odds, especially when it remains inclusive and grounded in the golden rule of compassion: the good which we wish for ourselves, we seek for every being.”

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