Minute to Address the Climate Crisis

Northern Yearly Meeting’s Ad Hoc Climate Committee raises up the urgency of addressing the climate crisis. We are at risk of losing all that we value. We ask Northern Yearly Meeting to address the climate crisis through Spirit-led corporate witness.

In 2018, scientists told the United Nations that the effects of climate change were happening much sooner than they expected. This year, 2022, hundreds of scientists from around the world delivered the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report to the United Nations. They stress that we have a narrowing and very brief window to act to avoid a catastrophic climate outcome. Within three years, our emissions must pass their peak and begin to come down. We must reduce our annual emissions to 45% of 2010 levels by 2030 and must reach net-zero by 2050.

We have the tools to do this. But we need all of civil society to join this effort if we are to succeed. Our Friends testimonies of peace, equality, simplicity, integrity, stewardship and community urge us to bear witness and act to both prevent and mitigate climate chaos on the earth. While we all can expect to suffer the consequences of catastrophic climate change, the most vulnerable are already suffering and will be the most affected by our continuing greenhouse gas emissions.

We believe this is the signature environmental justice issue of our times. Our historic testimonies point us towards a clear and urgent responsibility to address this issue, and to do so corporately. While we are not prescribing what individuals should do, we believe that all members of our yearly meeting can and should take immediate action within their capacities and circumstances. Furthermore, we should use the strength of our shared faith and our loving community to encourage one another in these endeavors.

Approved at NYM Annual Session, May 30, 2022