Religious protesters urge government to pay poorer countries for pollution damage

Religious volunteers staged a protest in Manchester to urge the government to pay damages caused to “poor countries” for pollution caused by climate change.

Quakers, Holy Innocent’s Fallowfield, and other religious organisations formed the group of people gathered in front of the Friends meeting house.

The action was held in the occasion of COP 27 and aimed to apply pressure on Rishi Sunak to make true financial commitments in climate management and repairing suffering “poor countries”.

They encouraged people to sign a petition from the Christian Aid on loss and damage fund to shake up the government and show how much the population worries.

Protesters encouraged passer-by to sign Christian aid petition. Image: Chloé Graber

The petitions launched by the Christian Aid aims to create an international fund.

A spokesperson for Christian Aid said: “Communities in east Africa face the worst drought in 40 years and in Pakistan the monsoons have destroyed half-a-million homes and damaged four million acres of crops.

“The fund could help people recover and rebuild when disasters strike, and compensate them for all that is permanently lost.”

Jonathan Dale, member of the Quakers meeting, added: “The scale of urgency is not being met and we think it is absolutely scandalous.”

“One thing that we do see here is that we’re quite active, but we’ve never had so many people sign the petition.

“We want the government to know that the constituency is there, and we hope to encourage them to be a bit more ready to pay the price.

“The problem is that they think there is a political cost in paying the price.

 “It isn’t giving money away it’s justice, it’s not charity. It’s just paying the damage we caused.

“Fossil fuel companies should be a big part of that payment because they are not paying the true cost, none of this is true, it is a matter of truth as well.”

‘The scale of urgency is not being met and we think it is absolutely scandalous’

quaker jonathan dale

Jonathan also told us that he would like the government to: “support the loss and damage fund and to put money into it.

“They should be a complete ban on any further fossil fuel exploration no more permits, no more coal mines, all of those things are totally counter-productive.”

The EU has voted in favour of a loss and damage fund, yet Manchester quakers, believe that “pressure is still needed for the UK to give its full support to the creation of this fund”.

To this day, the petition almost reached 8,400 signatures.

Similar petitions circulate around the UK