Stirling Methodist Church is the first of seven churches in the Stirling area to take part in a Scotland-wide initiative to highlight concern for climate justice.
A climate justice baton relay was launched at the Eco-Congregation Scotland annual gathering in Falkirk on April 25th by Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. The baton has since been touring parishes and schools up and down the country, from Shetland to Dumfries.
In Stirling, this builds n an initiative earlier this year when Stirling Methodist Church co-ordinated a letter from Stirling’s MP MSP and Council Leader to the United Nations calling for a global deal based on climate justice.
After touring Churches across Scotland the baton will be presented to the world summit in Paris this December from the Church of Scotland Paris Kirk. The Baton is made from recycled wood, it carries the inscription: “Time for climate justice. Churches in Scotland demand a deal in Paris 2015”.
The Baton will go to St Columba’s Chruch next Sunday, before moving on to Balfron. The next church in the relay is St Ninian’s Old, from where it moves north to Callander Kirk,
Trossachs, Dunblane Cathedral and Doune’s Kilmadock Parish Church. It leaves the area for the Borders on 14th September.
Rev Sally Foster Fulton of Dunblane Cathedral said:
“At the beginning of December in Paris, over 190 countries will meet to attempt to negotiate a deal on climate change to limit emissions from developed countries and help developing countries adapt to the impact of climate change and develop low carbon economies. The burden of climate change often falls most heavily on the poorest in the world, those who have done least to cause it. This is a matter of social justice, as well as caring for God’s creation.”
Stirling’s new MP Steven Paterson has joined the call for a just and effective global deal on climate change at the world summit this December. At the start of this year, Stirling’s political leaders came together on this common concern. A joint letter was sent to the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Jan Eliasson. The joint letter has now been resubmitted in the name of Steven Paterson MP. The letter calls for a climate change agreement:
- ambitious enough to keep temperature rises within the 2° Celsius target which has already been agreed;
- fair enough to distribute the burden in an equitable way;
- and legally binding enough to guarantee that effective national climate policies to curb emissions are well funded and fully implemented.
The letter has also been signed by Anne McGuire , former MP, Bruce Crawford, MSP, Johanna Boyd and Mike Robbins, Stirling Council Leader and Provost and SNP and Green Party representatives, Cllrs Scott Famer and Mark Ruskell.
The letter reflects a request made by the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change which took place in New York last year and was co-ordinated by Stirling Methodist Church. Steven Paterson MP said :
“I was delighted as a councillor, and now as an MP to be a signature to this letter. Climate change is a global threat, not a national one. We therefore need all countries to be doing their best in tackling climate change. Scotland, with its vast renewable energy potential, has the ability to show the world how renewable energy can be used to confront climate change. In parliament, I will fight to make sure that Scotland, and the UK, are world leaders in the effort to tackle climate change.”
Jon Cape, Green Team Leader for Stirling Methodist Church said
“NASA has published data showing that 2014 was the world’s warmest year since 1880. I am delighted that political leaders have come together in Stirling to express a common concern.” Nasa’s report identifies that “nine of the ten warmest years have taken place since 2000. Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.”