Climate Justice Baton in Inverness and the Highland News #cop21baton

The Climate Justice baton visited Ness Bank Church on July 12th and was reported on by the Highland News.

Credit: Highland News.

Full text of the article below:

Inverness church takes up baton to spread eco message

Eco-Congregation Scotland is behind the baton relay which stopped off at Ness Bank Church on Sunday en route to Paris for the UN Climate Change Summit in December.

The hand-made baton was created by the Greyfriars Recycling of Wood Project and carries the message: “Time for Climate Justice: Churches in Scotland Demand a Deal in Paris, December 2015.”

The baton, which is passing around churches across Scotland this summer, alerts congregations to the summit and carries the hopes and aspirations of Christians across Scotland for the conference.

At each stage host churches are being asked to write a postcard to the Scottish Government minister for environment, climate change and land reform, Aileen McLeod.

She sent the baton on the first leg of its journey in Falkirk in April, to tell her about the progress of the baton around Scotland.

The baton also visited the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May.

Rev Fiona Smith of Ness Bank Church, said: “Many of the congregation stayed behind after the service for photos with the baton which I think showed how supportive they are.

“It’s a hugely important issue but it’s quite difficult for us in the land of plenty to feel the impact of climate change and that we are making a difference. Climate change is affecting all parts of the world and some of the poorest people in places such as South America and Asia.

“If we work together, people from all walks of life, the issue can make progress and it must be tackled by the politicians.”

Ms McLeod said: “This is a crucial year in the effort to combat climate change and it is vital that Scotland sends a strong message to world leaders when they meet in Paris in December to agree a new global treaty on this.

“Eco-Congregation Scotland’s climate justice baton will do just that and encourage the international community to follow Scotland’s example by setting ambitious targets.

“I look forward to receiving the postcards that chart the baton’s journey the length and breadth of this country and being able to use these in Paris as evidence of the strength of feeling here in Scotland about climate change.

“I also hope this baton will inspire church members and communities across Scotland to reflect on what more we can all do in our day-to-day lives to help tackle climate change.”

At the Paris conferences, governments are expected to forge a new global deal on climate change, including commitments from both developed and developing countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions, to take effect from 2020 when current commitments run out.

Rich nations promised at the Copenhagen summit in 2009 that by 2020, at least $100 billion a year would be channelled to the developing world, to help cut emissions and adapt to climate change. So far only about half of that target has been met.

You can follow @ecocongregation on Twitter to see the baton’s progress or use the hashtag #cop21baton.