Eco-Congregation Scotland is taking a baton to Paris, to express the demands of churches in Scotland that negotiators agree to a deal that promotes global climate justice. The baton, which will pass around churches in Scotland throughout the summer of 2015, will carry the hopes and aspirations of Christians across Scotland for climate justice to be central to any agreement reached at the conference.
What is happening ?
- Greyfriars Recycling of Wood have made a baton for Eco-congregation Scotland from recycled church furniture.
- The baton bears the message Time for Climate Justice: Churches in Scotland Demand a Deal in Paris, December 2015.
- The relay was launched by Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform at our Annual Gathering on 25th of April:
- In December 2015 the baton will be taken to the UN climate change conference in Paris to share our message with other churches and delegates.
See where the baton is going
You can have a look at this map and calendar of where the baton is going to get an idea of when it will be in your area. There are two batons in order to cover as much as Scotland as possible (which is why it will appear that it is in two places at once on many dates!). Green markers indicate where the baton has travelled so far; red markers indicate where it will be going.
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If you are a local church congregation you can book the baton to visit your church when it is passing through your area. As the route is dependent on who signs up please contact us as soon as possible to get your name on the list. Please send an email to email@example.com (or use our contact form here) stating the name of your congregation, its location, plus your name and phone number. We will get in touch to arrange a date.
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We ask that all congregations receiving the baton do the following:
- Fill out one of the postcards and post it to us so we can collect them together and give to the Climate Change minister to show where the baton has been.
- Contact the local press (newspaper or maybe local radio).
- Put an article in your own church magazine.
- Contact other local congregations (of all denominations) and ask them to take part.
When you receive the baton there will be a pack containing printed information. If any of this is missing you can download a copy here:
- Information sheet for congregations explaining what the baton relay is all about.
- Leaflets to give to the general public or congregation members.
- Postcards (front | back) to send to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Minister to tell her where the baton is .
- Advice for contacting the local media.
- Press release (Word format | PDF).
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If you see the baton, tell us where it is, hashtag: #cop21baton
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Facing the Reality of a Changing Climate.
As people of hope, how can we respond?
A unique opportunity to hear Katharine Hayhoe from North America, an evangelical Christian and climate scientist named in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World 2014 and Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders. She will be in conversation with Alastair McIntosh, Scotland’s celebrated author and human ecologist, in a discussion chaired by leading mediator John Sturrock QC, at CCE The King’s Hall, Edinburgh November 19th at 7pm.
Climate change is one of the most hotly debated issues today. And between Trump, political posturing and increasing climate disasters, it can be really hard to know how to respond… and all too easy to look away. Is the evidence solid? Are proposed solutions viable? And what does it ask of us as people of hope and faith?
This important conversation between two of the world’s highest profile climate leaders, both Christians, will untangle the issues behind global warming and our awareness, highlighting the key role our faith and values play in shaping our attitudes and actions at this crucial time.
7pm – 8.30pm Sunday 19th November
CCE King’s Hall
41a South Clerk Street
Sign up to attend using our Facebook event here.
Sponsored by Tearfund, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Core Solutions.
Co-ordinated by copywriter and author Liz MacWhirter.
More about Katharine Hayhoe here.
As part of Christian Aid’s Big Shift campaign some members of the local Eco-Congregation network visited the Royal Bank of Scotland in Helensburgh to ask them to invest in a more sustainable way. Christian Aid have more information on their campaign here: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/campaigns/climate-change/the-big-shift
This was part of a day of activities including a service and an exhibition by local environmental groups.
From the BBC:
The Scottish government has announced an “effective ban” on fracking.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that the practice “cannot and will not take place in Scotland”.
He said an existing moratorium on the technique, which has been in place since 2015, would continue “indefinitely” after a consultation showed “overwhelming” opposition.
The government will seek Holyrood’s endorsement for the ban in a vote following the October recess.
But with only the Conservatives now opposed to a ban, the vote is likely to be a formality.
The move was welcomed by environmental groups but has been slammed by Ineos, operators of the huge Grangemouth petrochemical plant, which holds fracking exploration licences across 700 square miles of the country.
Read the full article here.
Churches have an opportunity to influence Scottish Government policy on food, if they act quickly.
From Nourish Scotland:
In the September 2016 Programme for Government the SNP annuounced they would continue with their manifesto commitment to bring forward a Good Food Nation Bill.
Nourish, along with the Scottish Food Coalition, have beeen campaigning for framework legislation for the food system to ensure a coherent and connected approach to food policy, which facilitates a just transition to a fair, healthy and sustainable food system.
We’re excited to see the Scottish Government introduce this Bill and will be reaching out to civil society and politicians in the coming months to ensure it’s transformative legislation that works for people.
The SNP, Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens made manifesto commitments to a Bill that would read across food, farming, health and other issues. This was partly in response to the ‘Plenty’ report from the Scottish Food Coalition. Members of the Scottish Food Coalition include Nourish Scotland, RSPB, Unite, Unison, Soil Association, Scottish Crofting Federation and many more.
The consultation on the new bill will be launched at the end of this year and will be announced on https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/ . The consultation will run for at least 12 weeks, but by then it will be too late for churches to have a say in what is actually included in the bill.
Eco-Congregation Scotland would like congregations to contact their MSP’s as soon as possible and ask for sustainability to be central to any national food policy and the bill. Congregations might also want to raise issues about food prices and fairness of access to good quality food.
This could be by letter or in person. If you do not know your MSP or are nervous about contacting them there is support available from the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office Meet Your MSP project: http://www.scpo.scot/meet-your-msp/