A key focus for Faith for the Climate in 2022’s Great Big Green Week, which ran from 24 September to 2 October, was Loss and Damage Action Day, 22 September. We knew that it fell before the official start, but we checked and the Climate Coalition reassured us that they considered it an important part of the Great Big Green Week.
As those readers who came to our webinar on 8th September know, L&D Action Day is about highlighting the fact that those people and regions worst affected by climate change are also those who’ve contributed least to it. Think Pakistan, which has contributed less than 1/2% of the carbon emissions which have brought about the devastation they’re suffering….the UK’s contribution, meanwhile, is closer to 15 times that. Countries and companies which have done most to pollute our planet must recognise their accountability, change their ways and make good on the losses and damage they’ve caused….this is what L&D Action Day is all about.
If you weren’t able to make the webinar, you can find a link to a powerful presentation which Meryne Warah, Global Director of Organising GreenFaith, shared with us….it’s well worth a watch and you can see it here. Our Director, Shanon Shah, then explained why we at Faith for the Climate think it’s so important to support L&D Action Day….watch his talk, and be inspired to action, here.
L&D Action Day fell after the State funeral, so it went ahead as scheduled. There were various ways to get involved – people could:
- Fast in solidarity with those suffering the worst impacts of loss and damage. Our friends at GoDharmic initiated a day-long fast which anyone could take part in – details here.
- Hold a vigil in their community (please let us know if you did so, so we can help publicise it…email me). Events happened in Beccles, Bexhill (a walk of witness), Cardiff (on 28th Sept), Douglas (22nd and also a L&D service on 2 October), Lancaster (21st Sept), Manchester (28th Sept), Totnes and Truro. In addition local groups of Global Justice Now had actions happening in various places. Please message me if you’d like me to put you in touch with any of the the organisers.
- In London, many, many people joined our Walk of Witness.
- We met at St John’s Church, Waterloo at 10:30am, to begin at 11 with prayers
- Starting off at 11.30, we walked to the Shell headquarters on Belvedere Road and held a silent vigil in the Jubilee Gardens across the road from them.
- We then continued on to Parliament Square, and arrived by the Gandhi statue for more speeches at 12:30pm.
- Because it wasn’t entirely certain that we’d be able to gather in Parliament Square, although the Queen’s funeral and period of national mourning was over, we hoped we’d be able to go ahead. But in case not, we made a ‘Plan B’ which involved staying at the Jubilee Gardens for more speeches and reflections from various faith leaders. Whatever happens, we knew that we’d be united in prayer and intention….
- Many people helped us spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #PayUp4LossAndDamage. There was a terrific social media toolkit to help you share the call for justice, prepared by our friends at Quakers in Britain, here.
- Green Christian had an online prayer session, 22 September, 8am.
- Political advocacy: Make Polluters Pay put a tool on its website where individuals could write to their MP – it’s here. Email Your MP | Make Polluters Pay It was a quick and easy way for people to make an impact.