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Dear Friends,
In its role as host of the UN climate talks – COP26, the UK government has recently released the presidency programme. Proceedings will begin in Glasgow on the 31 October and the 100 day countdown to COP26 has begun! As we head into this final stretch before COP26, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support so far :) We also want to let you know how plans are shaping up to continue making our voices heard in the run up to, and at, COP26.
Beginning with a huge thank you! Last month, Quakers in Britain (as part of the Make COP Count interfaith group) hosted a parliamentary event on ‘loss and damage’ and we asked for your help to invite Parliamentarians along. Thanks to you, we had a great turn out. Attendees included members of parliament (MPs), members of the House of Lords (Peers and Lords Spiritual) and faith representatives (including faith leaders, young faith representatives, and members of staff from faith-based organisations). There were speeches by a UK faith representative and climate justice campaigners in Bangladesh and the Solomon Islands, with opening and closing remarks by Stephen Timms MP and Caroline Lucas MP. Following on from the event, we are now working with two MPs to table parliamentary questions on loss and damage. We are also exploring ways they can use their platform to highlight the importance of talking about loss and damage in climate action.
[Note: Loss and damage is one of two climate justice issues that Quakers in Britain are focusing on currently. We will be sharing blog posts about why it is important to focus on loss and damage and what you can do to help in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can get a head start by reading our Make COP Count policy briefing.]
There’s still lots more to do to ensure we see progress on loss and damage at COP26. But we are already seeing how grassroots calls for the UK COP Presidency to focus on loss and damage are making an impact. In the next few months we will be working on more ways to link the work you are doing on the ground with national advocacy we are conducting on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting. We’ll share more details about this in future editions of this newsletter and our coming blog posts soon.
The rest of this newsletter looks at how plans are shaping up for COP26, including ways you can get involved – whether as a volunteer or by joining planned actions. We’ll also share Quakers in Britain’s plans for action ‘inside’ COP26 that we’ll run alongside supporting your actions ‘outside’.
Last but not least, we’re including the first story from our growing online database of Quaker climate action around the UK. For a reminder of how to join the database, see the end of this newsletter.
In Friendship
Rebecca Woo

What Quakers in Britain and the Quaker United Nations Office will be doing ‘inside’ COP26
The formal negotiations at COP take place within what is known as the ‘blue zone’, which is only accessible to delegates and accredited observer organisations. The blue zone will be in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC). Glasgow Science Centre, just across the river, will host the ‘green zone’, which is managed by the COP26 Presidency (the UK government) and is open to the public. There will also be many unofficial activities and events taking place elsewhere in Glasgow.
The UK government says it is committed to an in-person COP. However, given the ongoing pandemic, it is not clear what this will look like. It does not seem likely that the negotiations themselves will take place virtually, but there may well be restrictions or primarily virtual events within the green zone.
Our partners, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), has official observer status under the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC).  QUNO has been active at the climate negotiations since 2013, offering small, informal and off-the-record meetings for negotiators (known as ‘quiet diplomacy’) to help build communication and understanding between a diverse group of countries.  QUNO facilitates these meetings to focus on sensitive issues facing the negotiations at that particular time.  Over 60 countries have participated in the quiet diplomacy since 2013; the work has continued virtually during the pandemic, as negotiators say they continue to value the ‘safe and humane space’ and ‘sense of community’ that QUNO’s quiet diplomacy helps to create.  In preparation for COP26, QUNO recently published the Climate Empowerment Trilogy, FWCC and Act Alliance, to host a side event in the ‘Blue Zone’ called  “A moral call to conscience – fair share in finance for people affected by loss and damage”. QUNO will be present in the negotiation rooms throughout the COP, to support negotiators seeking effective, fair and ambitious guideline decisions needed to operationalize the Paris Agreement.  Support from Quakers in Britain has been fundamental to the ability of QUNO to do this and related work in human rights, peace and disarmament, and sustainable and just economic systems.
Quakers in Britain have provisionally been granted observer status at COP26. If this status is confirmed, we hope to work alongside QUNO (FWCC) and QEW to support several British Quakers inside the blue zone, in addition to co-hosting the loss and damage event. Quakers in Britain will also be present in the unofficial civil society fringe 'outside' COP26. Scroll down to read more about this!

What Quakers in Britain will be supporting ‘outside’ COP26

The COP26 Coalition is running a ‘People’s Summit’ from 7-10 November. This will be a mixture of in-person and online events, and is an opportunity for people from all over the world to share stories of resistance and discuss real solutions to the climate crisis.
On Saturday 6 November, Quakers in Britain will be part of a huge demonstration for climate justice, taking place in cities around Britain and globally. Covid-safety permitting, we hope lots of Friends will join us on the streets in Glasgow, London or your nearest city to demand real action for climate justice. We plan to have a Quakers in Britain staff presence to support Friends in Glasgow and London on the day – more details to follow nearer the time.
As part of the Make COP Count interfaith group, Quakers in Britain will also be joining a number of interfaith events and actions. In the run up to COP26, those in London can join the ‘Vigil for COP26’ at Southwark Cathedral on 23 September. Meanwhile, those in Glasgow may be able to join an interfaith vigil that is being planned for St George Square on 31 October. You can keep an eye on the Scottish Interfaith Week website for further updates about this. Other plans include an interfaith event during Great Big Green week (18-26 September), the Relay to COP26 (more on this below) and an interfaith event on the eve of COP26.

Volunteer with the climate justice movement at COP26

Be part of the team that brings climate justice to COP26! The climate justice movement needs your help in Glasgow this November. As part of the COP26 Coalition, we’re inviting you to be part of a team of volunteers that will be critical to making this November a success. From mobilisations to People's Summit to civil society hub - there are many ways for you to get involved.

Find out more and apply to become a Climate Justice Volunteer. Make sure to apply by 31st July. You don't need any particular skills or experiences, but you must be over 18 to volunteer. If you have any questions, email
Glasgow Meeting House during COP26
From Friends in Scotland: 
The Meeting House in Glasgow will be entirely devoted to COP events, apart from our regular meetings for worship on Sundays and Wednesdays.  The Meeting House will be open every day from 8.00am to 10.00pm during the COP. It has a meeting room which can hold about 60 people as well as several other smaller rooms, one of which will be a drop in cafe. 
We are planning to have periods of silent worship, meditation and reflection every morning and evening, which we feel would be a unique Quakerly contribution in what is going to be a highly charged event. We also intend to have a number of Quaker led events, including meetings with appropriate speakers and discussions and exhibitions and we would welcome suggestions from Friends in the UK and overseas for such events. We will also be open to events organised by outside groups, especially those who would otherwise find it difficult to get their voice heard. We are about to upgrade our audio-visual facilities in the Meeting House and look forward to hosting online events with Quakers and others from around the world to update them on the progress of the talks.
If you are within travelling distance of Glasgow and are willing to act as a warden please apply here as soon as possible. For further information email or view
Arrival of Quaker and interfaith pilgrimages to COP26

As part of the build-up to COP26 in Glasgow in November, several pilgrimages are being planned or are already underway! We are aware of three pilgrimage-style actions that Friends are involved in, including the Young Christian Climate Network 'Relay to COP26', a participatory Quaker relay pilgrimage and an art & ecology Scottish pilgrimage.

All of the pilgrimages are planning to arrive in Glasgow just before COP26 begins on 31 October. Visit our 'COP26 actions' page to find out more about all three pilgrimages and to see future updates about when the pilgrimages will arrive in Glasgow.
Quaker stories of action

Thank you for submitting your stories of climate action for the new online database we are building to help Friends connect directly! As promised, we are featuring one of the stories from the database below. For a reminder about what the database will involve and how to share information about action you are taking, have a look at our website here.

From Friends in Newark Local Quaker Meeting, Lincolnshire Area:
Newark Quakers have produced 5 panels highlighting the extent of the climate crisis and the positive action we can all take. Alongside the panels will be a tabletop display challenging individuals to explore the impact of their decisions on the climate emergency. Children's activities will also be available. The "One World, One Climate" exhibition will be open 10.00-2.00 on 18 Sep, 22 Sep and 25 Sep at Newark Meeting House to coincide with The Great Big Green Week. In the run-up to COP26 it will be open 10.00-2.00 on 30 Oct, 3 Nov, 6 Nov and 10 Nov. Outside these dates we are planning to display the panels in other venues around the town.

You can read more on our website here
Follow us on Twitter at @EarthEconQuaker
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