Australian Quakers are calling on the leaders of all their political parties to take the impact of climate change into the upcoming Australian federal election as a key plank of their party’s platform for action.
Australian Quakers used their yearly meeting this month to affirm that lasting peace can no longer be contemplated in isolation from the significant ecological and environmental challenges facing the world today and in the future.
“The economic and social dislocation from climate change could be comparable to the suffering experienced in war,” stated Julian Robertson, presiding clerk of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia. “For more than 350 years Quakers have opposed war and worked to remove the causes of war. Climate warming could jeopardise stability in Australia, in our region and internationally,” he added.
Having recognised the link between peace and environmental concerns, Australian Quakers have established a Peace & Earthcare Office in Canberra, to represent a Quaker voice in the national capital on matters of peace, social justice and environmental concerns.
At their annual gathering, Quakers spoke plainly about their concerns for our future. Many of the Quaker children, teenagers and young adults expressed deep concern that their lives would be permanently and detrimentally affected by the decisions of those in power today.
“The impacts of climate change are arriving much more quickly and are far more severe than forecast,” Julian Robertson said. “The natural systems Australians depend on for economic security, food and clean water are threatened by climate warming. We believe that continued lethargic responses to these priorities will disrupt our financial and political systems, increase conflict, the isolation of nations and enhance the likelihood of war.”