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Fasting not feasting

This month's fast will be especially poignant.

It falls on the first day of the UN climate conference in Lima, we mark one year since the fasting movement was born and it's one year until leaders need to sign a binding climate deal at their conference in Paris. 

1 December will see the biggest global fast yet, with special activities inside and outside the conference and around the world.

Fasters in Lima will join a candlelit vigil the night before the conference starts, reminding the negotiators that some things are important enough to go hungry for.

At lunchtime on 1 December fasters will gather to show their empty plates and demand that the negotiations put us on track for a safe and ambitious global deal. 

Please keep the negotiators in your thoughts and prayers as you join us in fasting for the climate.  

As we enter December it might feel harder than usual to abstain from food, so we asked Claire Jones to tell us why she’s joined the fast for the climate. 

Inner strength and stale crisps

Normally, gooey baked Camembert and crusty bread would be strong contenders for my top temptation. Little else compares.

When I’m a bit hungry, though, anything even vaguely edible becomes a feast in my imagination.

So the day I’m fasting for the climate becomes a constant inner battle, continually summoning all my strength to say no to even a few stale crisps offered to me from the office bowl. 

It’s hardest when no-one’s looking. Most of my willpower, it turns out, comes from fear of what other people think of me.

As my tummy starts to rumble, the little voice in my head whispers: ‘No-one would know if you just slipped outside to buy a bacon roll!’ 

So it becomes about integrity. There’s no-one watching, no-one making me do it. I’ve got to choose it on my own.


Fasting, for me, has become about taking responsibility for something I care deeply about. For once, I’m doing something because I believe climate change matters, rather than because I want to impress other people.

And every time I have to make that decision not to nip across the road for a chocolate bar, not to give up and have lunch, I’m reminded that each of my actions is my own responsibility. 

Just as no-one will know if I break my fast or not, there’s no-one watching over my shoulder to check I’m doing my recycling.

No-one asking me each day if I’ve switched off the lights and unplugged my phone charger.

No-one will know if I forget to write to my MP to lobby for ambitious action on climate change.

An eye to the future

But it’s about integrity, taking responsibility, deciding for myself that this is important enough to me to take action.

The future of farming, fishing, coasts and rainforests is important enough to make small changes to my daily habits.

The suffering of millions of people living in poverty, made worse by changes to their climate, matters enough to get me off my sofa and out into the streets.

And if it takes a monthly storm of hunger pangs to spur me into that action, that’s got to be worthwhile – even if it means turning down stale crisps or, dare I say it, baked Camembert. 

This blog is part of our monthly Fast for the Climate series. Find out more and join in here

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