Tag Archives: Divestment

Anglican Communion Webinar: COP26, Divestment and Investment for Climate Justice

An overview of how Churches in the Anglican Communion can act for climate justice ahead of COP26 through divestment and investment

Across the Anglican Communion, Churches are supporting a just and green recovery by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Church of Ireland and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have divested from fossil fuels. The Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church are set to debate divestment at Governing Body meetings in the coming months. There have also been calls for the Church of England to accelerate divestment from fossil fuels, following the motion on divestment passed at General Synod in 2018.

Join this interactive webinar to hear from inspiring leaders across the Anglican Communion, who will share their insights about the steps that Churches need to take on divestment and investment ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

The webinar will provide an excellent opportunity to find out how you can get involved in campaigning for divestment in your local church, diocese and at a national level.

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

Keynote speaker: Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford: Fossil fuel divestment, positive investment and the urgent need for a just and green recovery from Covid-19

Revd Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Secretary to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network: The theological underpinnings of divestment

Revd Jacynthia Murphy, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia: The impact of the climate crisis in the Pacific Islands and decision of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to divest

Very Revd John Conway, Provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh: How eco-congregation St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral divested from fossil fuels and what needs to happen now in the Scottish Episcopal Church

Revd Stuart Elliott, Vicar of Betws-y-Coed Parish Church and Member of Church in Wales’ Environment Group and Ethical Investment Group: Fossil fuel divestment in the Church in Wales and investment in climate solutions

Stephen Trew, Member of the Church of Ireland General Synod: The Church of Ireland divestment journey

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah: Key findings of the report Church investments in major oil companies: Paris compliant or Paris defiant?

It will provide an opportunity to find out more about how your Church, Diocese or Province can join the next global divestment announcement for faith institutions on 17 May 2021.

The webinar is organised by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Operation Noah, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Eco-Congregation Scotland.

Please register using this link:

https://anglican_communion_cop26_divestment_webinar.eventbrite.co.uk

Climate Sunday

Join our special Scottish launch

Climate Sunday – Scottish launch
Monday 22nd March 2021

7.30pm – 8.30pm
https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/climatesunday

Join us for a special Scottish launch of Climate Sunday, providing focus in the year of the COP26 climate conference for churches committed to action combatting climate change.

Local congregations are encouraged to hold a special Climate Sunday service on any Sunday over the months leading up to the start of September, with free resources for every tradition and style of worship.

An initiative of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), Climate Sunday calls on local churches to take one or more of the following three actions:

Worship
Hold a climate-focused service, to explore the theological and scientific basis of creation care and action on climate, to pray, and to commit to action. Explore our resources and the Climate Sunday website for inspiration and worship resources to suit all church traditions. Please register your service so we can count you in!

Commit 
Make a commitment as a local church community to taking long term action to reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions. Use Climate Stewards‘ new 360°carbon calculator for churches and register as an eco-congregation – or work towards an Eco-Congregation Scotland Award.

Speak up
Use your voice to tell politicians that you want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild a strong economy. Read and sign the ‘The Time Is Now’ declaration both as a church and as individuals.

Climate Sunday culminates with a major online service in Glasgow on Sunday 5th September 2021, the first Sunday in Creation Time, to share church commitments across the nations and pray for bold action with courageous leadership at COP26 in the city this November.

Organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) with backing from a range of denominations and charities in CTBI Environmental Issues Network, we are encouraging more Scottish support for Climate Sunday and all churches to pray and act in the run-up to COP26.

Join Climate Sunday project coordinator James Anthony to hear all about the initiative – with great ideas on how you can worship, commit and speak up through your local church.

Please register now for the link to join us for this special Scottish launch:

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/climatesunday

“We need to take action as Christians who care for God’s creation, tackling the climate emergency with urgency now and for future generations. When we welcome thousands from around the world, online or in person to COP26, we can all demonstrate that we are taking action and leading by example in our own church and across the country.”

“We all share a unique opportunity this year for transformational change, taking practical steps to change our own behaviour and calling on governments to agree global action when they gather in Glasgow. Climate Sunday helps link this directly with our spiritual life, focussing local churches on the environment in worship, prayer and action.”

Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson Mary Sweetland

On the 5th Sunday in Lent, our digital visiting preacher Rev David Coleman joins the Netherlorn Churches – Kilbrandon, Kilchattan, Kilmelford and Kilninve in Argyll – with a reflection on John 12:20-33 ‘The Tipping-point’

All our worship material is now shareable for any church on Eco-Chaplain onlineFacebook and our website where we are building a catalogue behind the scenes – and fits perfectly with a Climate Sunday service.

This coming Sunday 21st March at 7pm we also encourage our volunteers and supporters to join Christians in prayer across Scotland marking the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown.


Anglican Communion Webinar
COP26, Divestment and Investment for Climate Justice

Thursday 25th March 2021
7.00pm – 8.30pm

Register at this link

Eco-Congregation Scotland joins the Anglican Communion Environmental NetworkOperation NoahChristian Aid and Tearfund as organisers of this global Anglican Communion Webinar. Among the speakers is Very Revd John Conway, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, on the Cathedral divesting from fossil fuels and next steps in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

This follows our recent, well-attended ‘Scottish Churches’ Webinar: COP26, Divestment and Investment in the Just and Green Recovery‘ which you can now view online.

Scottish Churches’ Webinar – COP26, Divestment and Investment in a Just and Green Recovery

Join this webinar to explore how Churches in Scotland can divest from fossil fuels and invest in the just and green recovery ahead of COP26.

As Scotland prepares to host the UN climate talks (COP26) later this year, we have a unique opportunity to make an impact and increase the pressure on institutions and governments to respond with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.

Join this webinar to find out how Churches in Scotland – both locally and nationally – can support a just and green recovery by divesting from fossil fuels and re-orienting investments towards a clean energy future.

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

The webinar will be chaired by Fiona Buchanan, Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator at Christian Aid Scotland.

Around the world, more than 400 faith institutions have divested from fossil fuels, including the World Council of Churches, the United Reformed Church, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Fossil fuel divestment will be on the agenda at this year’s General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

We are excited to share that the webinar will see the launch of the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge on Divestment and the Just and Green Recovery, which can be signed by individuals, churches, regional Church bodies and national Churches.

The webinar is an excellent opportunity to find out more about how your church can join the next global divestment announcement for faith institutions in spring 2021. Join us to find out where your Church denomination currently stands on fossil fuel divestment, and how you can get involved in the campaign.

The webinar series is sponsored by: Eco-Congregation Scotland, Operation Noah, Christian Aid, Justice and Peace Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Register today on Eventbrite:

https://scottishchurcheswebinar.eventbrite.co.uk

Scottish Episcopal Church votes to go net zero by 2030

Urgent action to be taken in response to the global climate emergency

Christian environmental and development charities Eco-Congregation Scotland, Christian Aid and Operation Noah today joyfully welcome the decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church, at their General Synod, to set a 2030 net zero carbon emissions target. 

The motion was proposed by Rev’d Elaine Garman, Interim Convener of the Church in Society Committee for the Scottish Episcopal Church. Speaking ahead of the motion being carried, she said, ‘We are in a climate emergency… We all must act and act now. As a Church we must lead… Our motion today is designed to enable the Scottish Episcopal Church…in reducing our negative impact on our climate… We can be part of Scotland’s preparations for the COP26 climate summit next year.’ 

The motion, passed by General Synod, reads: ‘That this Synod, expressing the need for urgent action in relation to the global climate emergency, call on the Church in Society Committee, working in conjunction with other appropriate bodies, to bring forward a programme of actions to General Synod 2021 to resource the Scottish Episcopal Church in working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.’

The decision to set a 2030 net zero target is especially significant as Glasgow prepares to host the UN climate talks, COP26, in November 2021.

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The Provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, The Very Rev’d John Conway, welcomed the motion: ‘This is an important first step for the Scottish Episcopal Church, showing our commitment to action in the face of the depth of the climate crisis. Responding to the climate emergency is the most urgent task facing us all, requiring all the spiritual and intellectual resources available. To speak with any authority about that spiritual task of living more simply, however, requires us to put our own house in order, and this motion sets us on that road. I look forward to the resources offered to help us all move to being carbon neutral in 10 years time.’

In June 2019, the Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod voted to change its ethical investment policy following a motion proposed by the Rev’d Diana Hall, Rector of St Anne’s, Dunbar. The motion stated that ‘the ethical investment policy be updated to reflect the moral imperative to divest fully from fossil fuels’.

Since then, an Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) has been established. which gave its first report to General Synod today. The report stated that the Church has sold its direct investments in fossil fuel companies, but continues to invest in fossil fuels indirectly through its pooled funds.

At General Synod, there were calls for the Scottish Episcopal Church to publicly announce its commitment to divest from fossil fuels and to complete the divestment process as soon as possible. In his speech to the General Synod, The Very Re’vd John Conway welcomed the work done to date by the EIAG and asked the Church’s College of Bishops to sign the Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge: Divestment and the Just and Green Recovery, which was recently launched by Eco-Congregation Scotland and other partners.

We are really pleased to see that our supporting Churches are backing the priority to aim for net zero by 2030, which will bring changes to local congregations and their members.

Mary Sweetland, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson

The decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church to reach net zero emissions in the next decade follows the Church of England decision to set a 2030 net zero carbon target in February 2020. Both are in the worldwide Anglican Communion, a family of churches in more than 165 countries.

The Church of Scotland set a 2030 net zero target at the General Assembly in October 2020 when its Faith Impact Forum successfully proposed ‘for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’. Many local authorities have also made this pledge, including the City Councils of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Mary Sweetland, chairperson of Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: ‘We are really pleased to see that our supporting Churches are backing the priority to aim for net zero by 2030, which will bring changes to local congregations and their members.’

Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: ‘Only this week the Secretary General of the United Nations told the world we have a climate emergency which is impacting most heavily on the world’s most vulnerable people. We know all too well here at Christian Aid that those who have done the least to cause the problem suffer the most. And so it’s really encouraging that today the Scottish Episcopal Church has decided to commit to net zero emissions by 2030. As 2020 draws to a close, we can look ahead to COP26 in Glasgow alongside our Church partners in Scotland, as they continue to pursue decisions that will lead to climate justice for those living on the sharp end of the climate emergency.’

Christian Aid holds a vision of a better world, free from poverty and climate change. For over ten years, Christian Aid Scotland has been campaigning for the UK and Scottish Governments to take climate change seriously for the benefit of those who are impacted first and worst by its effects.  Operation Noah is a Christian charity working with the Church across all Christian denominations to inspire action on climate change.

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah said: ‘It is wonderful news that the Scottish Episcopal Church has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2030. In order to demonstrate leadership on the climate crisis ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow next year, it is vital that the Scottish Episcopal Church supports a just and green recovery from Covid-19 by completing divestment from fossil fuel companies and investing in the clean technologies of the future.’

The motion passed by the Scottish Episcopal Church General Synod reads as follows: ‘That this Synod, expressing the need for urgent action in relation to the global climate emergency, call on the Church in Society Committee, working in conjunction with other appropriate bodies, to bring forward a programme of actions to General Synod 2021 to resource the Scottish Episcopal Church in working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.’

Church of Scotland sets 2030 net zero target

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Christian environmental and development groups welcome General Assembly decision

Christian environmental and development charities Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah joyfully welcome the decision of the Church of Scotland to set a 2030 net zero target.

At the Church of Scotland 2020 General Assembly on Saturday, the Church’s Faith Impact Forum brought a proposal to the General Assembly ‘for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030’.

General Assembly Commissioners voted to support an amendment from Rev Jenny Adams, Minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Parish Church.

The amended motion passed by General Assembly reads: ‘Instruct the Faith Impact Forum to work with others to develop a strategy for the Church to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030, reporting an outline strategy to General Assembly 2021.’

We are delighted that one of our key partner Churches has committed to transitioning to net zero in the next 10 years.

              Mary Sweetland, Chair of Eco-Congregation Scotland

The decision to set a 2030 net zero target is especially significant as Glasgow prepares to host the UN climate talks, COP26, in November 2021.

In her speech to the General Assembly, Rev Jenny Adams said: ‘This is a climate emergency and the next 10 years are crucial. I hope that by working with others within and beyond the Church, we will be able to get going on this difficult but vital transition, for the sake of all creation.’

Commissioners at the General Assembly also voted in favour of a motion on fossil fuel divestment proposed by Seonaid Knox. This motion called on the Church’s Faith Impact Forum to ‘report to the 2021 General Assembly on the ethical, scientific and theological arguments for and against urgent disinvestment from oil and gas companies’.

The Church of England voted to set a 2030 net zero target earlier this year. Many local authorities have also made this pledge, including the City Councils of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah applauded the decision to set a 2030 net zero target. They said that the Church of Scotland now needs to end its investments in fossil fuel companies in order to demonstrate climate leadership ahead of the crucial COP26 climate summit.

Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: ‘The communities with which Christian Aid works, in many of the poorest parts of the world, are calling for urgent leadership on climate change, and this decision from the Church of Scotland demonstrates that leadership. We welcome it warmly, and look forward to working in partnership with the Church of Scotland to help realise these ambitious new goals. One of the steps that the Church could take in the short-term is to commit to end its investments in fossil fuel companies, and we hope that is part of the plans brought forward in 2021.’

Mary Sweetland, Chair of Eco-Congregation Scotland, said: ‘We are delighted that one of our key partner Churches has committed to transitioning to net zero in the next 10 years.’

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, said: ‘It is wonderful news that the Church of Scotland has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2030. In order to demonstrate leadership on the climate crisis ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow next year, it is vital that the Church of Scotland supports a just and green recovery from Covid-19 by divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in the clean technologies of the future.’

Notes:

1. Operation Noah is a Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on the climate crisis. It works with all Christian denominations. http://operationnoah.org/

2. Christian Aid holds a vision of a better world, free from poverty and climate change. For over ten years, Christian Aid Scotland has been campaigning for the UK and Scottish Governments to take climate change seriously for the benefit of those who are impacted first and worst by its effects. https://www.christianaid.org.uk/

3. Eco-Congregation Scotland is a movement of Scottish church congregations, of all denominations and none, committed to addressing environmental issues through their life and mission. https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/

4. The Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council recommended that the Investors’ Trust divest from fossil fuels ‘as a matter of urgency’ in December 2019. https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18122752.renewed-call-kirk-sell-shares-oil-gas/

5. The Church of England set a 2030 net zero carbon target in February 2020. https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/general-synod-sets-2030-net-zero-carbon-target