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Our Duty to Care for the Environment

Quakers believe strongly in the need for urgent action to respond to the current climate and biodiversity crisis. We also believe that those countries which are damaging the environment most should compensate for the loss and damage that they have caused.

We believe that extreme inequality and environmental destruction are both caused by an economic system founded on exploitation of people and of the earth.

Quakers in Britain are working to challenge this system and advocate for economic values rooted in equality, justice and sustainability.

Norwich Quakers are active in environmental issues, supporting demonstrations and organising and participating in other types of activity.

The Norwich Meeting adopted the following statement of its commitment

We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. (Advices and Queries 42)

The action we are ready to take at this time is to make a strong corporate commitment to become a low-carbon, sustainable community. (Minute 36 BYM 2011)

The effects of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the global scale of pollution are of extreme detriment to the Earth’s ecosystems and species, including human beings. We recognise that these grievous harms present us with a huge challenge to find sustainable and just ways of living on this Earth. Catastrophic damage is not inevitable if we choose to act urgently. As a Meeting we have personal and collective responsibilities to ensure that people now, and all future generations, do not suffer as a consequence of our inaction. We see this as a call to conscience.

We therefore understand that we have responsibilities to:

  • Consider the environmental consequences of our personal, everyday behaviours and to act accordingly, both in our own lives and in the life of our Meeting

  • Join with others, locally, nationally and internationally, in seeking to make the necessary changes in the world.

  • Be mindful of the environmental impacts of all our activities that relate to the material nature of our lives and premises.

As with all our Testimonies we recognise that, in practice, following them may mean that the routes we choose are not always the easiest or cheapest but are what are required of us by our faith, as far as our personal circumstances allow.

For our premises we seek to create and implement policies for carrying out new work, refurbishment and acquisition in this spirit, always keeping our concern for the environment in the forefront of our thinking.

We are committed to: • Using water, materials and energy efficiently, so as to minimise waste and reduce overall consumption. • Using renewable sources of energy. • Trying to ensure that our suppliers and contractors share and act on our values towards the environment. • Encouraging all our building users to make positive environmental choices. • Reducing our contribution to air pollution by promoting use of public transport, walking and cycling to and from the Meeting House. • Promoting our policy and explaining what lies behind it, encouraging members, contractors and user groups to contribute to its implementation and development.

We offer our support to all involved in the Meeting, and those in the wider community, who seek to convince those in power of the urgency of change because of the way that current economic and political practices are endangering the planet.

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