Faith for the Climate and Quakers call on UK to pay fair share of climate finance

As leaders of the world’s richest countries prepare to meet at a G7 meeting in Italy, faith groups are urging them to deliver new, adequate climate finance to developing countries.

In an open letter, Quakers in Britain, Faith for the Climate, and other members of the Climate Justice Coalition joined War on Want in reminding the G7 that their emissions are most responsible for climate change. 

Signatories refused to accept that Global North countries do not have adequate public funds to deliver their climate finance obligations.

“In 2022, G7 countries spent over $1 trillion funding war and conflict,” they wrote. “From 2020 to 2021 alone, G7 countries committed a total of USD 316 billion to public subsidies for fossil fuels. 

“It is well within the power of Global North governments to redirect these funds for development and climate finance and raise more by taxing their elites and corporations – many of whom are top global profiteers and polluters – to raise funds for climate finance.”

This letter is part of ongoing faith work for fair climate finance. For the Global Day of Action for climate finance on 11 June, Quakers and Faith for the Climate also took part in a Whitehall protest, demanding the UK pays its fair share towards climate finance.

And, marking the start of Great Big Green Week (GBGW), Quakers in Britain hosted an interfaith picnic at St Johns Church in Waterloo with Faith for the Climate and Islamic Relief UK.

Clockwise from top left: Shanon Shah, butterfly colouring, Rebecca WalkerWoo, interfaith pledge, Holy Swans, family-friendly activities, MTO Zendeh Delan Ensemble. Pics by Michael Preston

At the picnic on Sunday 9 June, visitors took part in swaps to create a better tomorrow, while organisers urged the government to swap empty promises for real action. 

That real action would include making polluters pay for climate-induced loss and damage and funding a just transition to a sustainable economy, they said.

Leaders, representatives and activists of different faiths and beliefs send a united message to our politicians – swap empty promises for real action
(left to right): Naomi Verber, EcoJudaism; Colette Joyce, Westminster Peace & Justice; Canon Giles Goddard, Faith for the Climate/St John’s Waterloo; Dr Maureen Sier, Interfaith Scotland; Kamran Shezad, IFEES/Eco-Islam; Rev Sarah Farrow, King’s College London; rehena harilall, Buddhists Across Traditions; Rebecca WalkerWoo, Quakers in Britain; Bishop Martin Gainsborough, Bishop of Kingston (Church of England

Speaking on behalf of faith groups calling for climate justice, Faith for the Climate director Dr Shanon Shah quoted US civil rights leader and Baptist minister Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…. All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” he said.

Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, Paul Parker, said: “Quakers recognise the equality of all people in the eyes of God.

“That which hurts the poorest people on the planet diminishes us all.  This is why we work for climate justice.”

Campaigners say sums substantially over £100 billion are needed to pay for the climate crisis. It is essential that the UK and other G7 governments take stock of this figure and take immediate action, they say.

Faith communities call for the UK to pay their fair share of climate finance. Courtesy of Quakers in Britain

This story was originally published on the Quakers in Britain website on 13 June 2024 – republished with permission