Brief Update from Downunder
By Robert Howell
THE AUSTRALIAN RELIGIOUS RESPONSE to Climate Change was established in 2008 (http://www. arrcc.org.au/). It is an initiative focused on multifaith environmental action, linking with like-minded groups such as 350.org, Go Fossil Free Australia, the Australian Student Environmental Network, The Vital Few, and Market Forces. The latter two groups are aimed at encouraging superannuation funds to invest more in the low-carbon economy and to pressure the “Big 4” banks to stop funding destructive fossil fuel projects.
The first religious organization to go Fossil Free in Australia and New Zealand was the NSW/ACT Synod of the Uniting Church in April 2013. The Melbourne Unitarian Church, the Canberra Regional Meeting of Quakers, and five of the seven dioceses of the Anglican Church in New Zealand have passed similar resolutions.
Aotearoa New Zealand Quakers made a Statement on Environmental Sustainability in 2000 (http:// quaker.org.nz/ym-statement-on-environmental-sustainability). A testimony was adopted in 2010. Earth stories of Individual Quakers are available at http:// quaker.org.nz/earth-friends.
Australian Friends produced a Quaker Earthcare Statement in 2008 (http://www.quakers.org. au/?page=298). They have recently published Towards a Vision of a Peaceful and Sustainable Australia: Some Quaker Voices. In addition to background papers on ecological footprints, the economy, and energy, there are inspiring stories of how individual Australian Quakers are responding at personal levels (http:// www.quakers.org.au/?page=299).