Tag Archives: Net Zero
UN climate talks start 31 October
Call for all churches to act
With only 100 days now counting down until the COP26 United Nations climate conference begins in Glasgow, Eco-Congregation Scotland is joining renewed calls for all churches to commit to action before talks begin.
Please read our latest briefing on what COP26 is and all the different ways you can get involved with your own church. We will be sharing much more in coming weeks.
Over 1,500 churches across the UK are already taking part in the Climate Sunday initiative, with hundreds more planning to do so, demonstrating growing climate action by local congregations.
A key milestone before COP26 is a major Nations’ Climate Sunday Service with Glasgow Churches Together from Glasgow Cathedral, streamed live online on Sunday 5 September 2021 at 4pm, to share church commitments across the nations of the UK and pray for bold action with courageous leadership at COP26 in the city this November.
Climate Sunday is an initiative of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), with backing from a range of denominations and Christian charities. We are encouraging churches to take action in the run-up to COP26:
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 the Climate Sunday website and our own resources for inspiration to suit all church traditions and styles of worship. Please register your service so we can count you in!
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.
Use your voice to tell the UK Government that you want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild the economy – with finance to support poorer countries affected most by climate change. Read and sign ‘The Time Is Now’ declaration both as a church and as individuals.
Eco-Congregation Scotland is also proud to be a partner of the new Climate Scotland campaign in the run-up to COP26, with 30 other organisations including Christian Aid Scotland, SCIAF, Tearfund Scotland and Justice and Peace Scotland.
Our climate and natural world are in crisis. It’s threatening our communities, our food, resources, and our beautiful places.
Decisions by world leaders at COP26 could get us on track to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It’s a real chance to create a better future for our communities here in Scotland and around the world.
There is hope. But we also need our leaders in Scotland plus those attending COP26 to know just how much we care, with thousands of voices being heard. Please share why action on climate and nature is important to you. It takes just a few minutes to add your own voice at: climatescotland.org
With 100 days to go until COP26, the Scottish Government also announced today its indicative Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), outlining Scotland’s contribution to preventing warming of more than 1.5 degrees. We will continue to support and encourage efforts in all our communities towards making Scotland a Net Zero Nation – and link Together For Our Planet across the UK in this special year of climate action.
Our next confirmed events, activities and training are online and being updated regularly, including:
Breathe: Fresh Air for All
Let’s talk about the climate emergency
Monday 26 July 2021, 7.30pm
Embracing Greener Travel: Electric Vehicles
Workshop with Home Energy Scotland
Wednesday 28 July 2021, 2.00pm
Please register for the Zoom meeting links at:
Register for free and begin your church’s journey as an eco-congregation.
Please consider church membership to become more active in the charity and support our Network activities – join online.
Please donate if you can, to help support our work and encourage growing interest across Scotland’s churches.
If you or others in your church would like to receive this newsletter regularly, please subscribe.
COP26 venue Scottish Events Campus header photograph courtesy of Glasgow Convention Bureau.
Our office is currently closed due to the coronavirus situation and staff are working from home. Please contact Eco-Congregation Scotland manager Stephen Curran at:
0141 423 4671, 07554 905275, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Congregations are looking at how their buildings may be adapted to achieve net zero carbon. We are delighted to welcome Roger Curtis and Louisa Humm from the casework team of Historic Environment Scotland to share their expertise.
They will talk about energy efficiency in church buildings as well as approaches for all older structures. This will include insulation works, heating options and approaches to thermal comfort for congregations.
Join as 5-6pm on Wednesday 7th of July via Zoom
To attend this event please fill in the form below.
If you are scratching your head not sure where to start in adapting your congregation’s buildings to achieve Net Zero Carbon, or want to explore the topic in more detail then this may be the event for you.
Join us at 7.30pm on Monday the 17th of May when we are delighted to welcome Scott Wham to explore this topic.
Scott is an architect based in Ayr who started Wham Architecture in 2014 in order to focus on his work with churches and community groups. He is the author of Eco-Congregation Scotland’s Ideas for Action Module 7 ‘Greening Church Buildings’.
As well as exploring renewable forms of heating, one of the most effective ways of reducing the carbon footprint of a building is to minimise heat loss. Through two case study projects, the refurbishment of the residential accommodation at Iona Abbey and the refurbishment of Auchengray Church Centre, Scott will demonstrate various practical ways of improving the thermal performance of our buildings.
To attend the event please register by filling out the form below and we will send you the link for the meeting.
2021 Annual Gathering and Annual General Meeting
As Scotland welcomes the world to COP26, hear how you can get involved – and look forward to Net Zero carbon and a Just, Green Future
Eco-Congregation Scotland’s Annual Gathering brings churches and volunteers together from all over Scotland to consider ‘COP26 and beyond’. With the COP26 United Nations climate conference taking place in Glasgow this November, we look at how to get involved in worship, action and advocacy.
We offer a warm welcome to the world, encouraging sign-up to offer booked accommodation for those who have available rooms around Glasgow or en route, with the new COP26 homestay network – developed in partnership by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, the UK civil society COP26 Coalition and Human Hotel.
We also look beyond COP26, to consider community potential towards Net Zero carbon emissions – and the need for a just and green recovery from coronavirus that addresses the climate emergency. The event concludes with the charity’s Annual General Meeting and ‘A Prayer for COP’ from Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman.
This year presents a unique opportunity for transformation, helping local churches commit to action tackling the climate crisis, through our volunteers and supporters across the country. Please register today and join the discussion on COP26 and beyond.
COP26 and beyond: Net Zero and a Just, Green Future
10.00am Opening reflection – Rev David Coleman, Eco-Chaplain with Eco-Congregation Scotland
10.05am Welcome and introductions – Mary Sweetland, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson
10.10am Keynote speaker – Rev James Bhagwan, Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, pre-recorded video shared from Fiji on the impact of climate change on Pacific islands and the faith-inspired response of churches
10.25am COP26, what is it all about and how can you get involved? – Kat Jones, COP26 Project Manager for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, on what happens at COP26 and how we can all be part of civil society activities towards and during the climate conference
10.35am COP26 Briefing and Workshops – Adrian Shaw, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Interfaith Scotland COP26 volunteer, outlines our new monthly update on COP and how to get involved, opening workshop discussion on key themes for church involvement:
* Hospitality and Welcome – COP26 Logistics Coordinators Flick Monk from Friends of the Earth Scotland and Nick Cullen of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, encouraging churches and volunteers to offer accommodation for visitors, activists and pilgrims
* Worship and Prayer – Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman, offering support and ideas for Climate Sunday services, Creation Time and spiritual life, engaging with churches throughout Scotland
* Practical Action – Judith Macleod, Eco-Congregation Scotland Programme Coordinator, sharing ideas for conversations, training and activities to tackle the climate crisis through local action and transformation
* Campaigns and Advocacy – Christian Aid Scotland Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator Fiona Buchanan, offering opportunities for churches and volunteers to speak up for climate justice, campaigning in partnership here and globally
Speakers will open each workshop in a large group on one of four themes for 10 minutes of presentation and possible time for questions, before we all break into small groups to discuss:
1. How we hope to get involved on our chosen theme in this year of COP26
2. What further information or resources we would like to support this
All participants will be asked to complete a short online form during or after the meeting for more detailed feedback from individuals and small groups.
(A Word document can be downloaded and printed off or emailed back if preferred.)
11.10am Plenary Workshop Feedback – short verbal feedback on each theme.
11.25am Beyond COP26 – Net Zero and a Just, Green Future
We consider community potential for a Net Zero carbon future with Dave Pearson, Director of Star Renewable Energy. We also hear from Jane Herbstritt, Global Justice Now Scottish campaigner, about the need to support a Just and Green Recovery from coronavirus that tackles inequality and addresses the climate emergency. Guest speakers followed by Question and Answer session.
12.00pm Closing Devotional – led by Rev David Coleman, Eco-Chaplain
12.15pm Annual General Meeting
All are welcome to attend the AGM, although only a Full Member (or a proxy) representing an individual church with Membership of the charity has voting rights.
Annual General Meeting
1. Welcome – Mary Sweetland, Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson
2. Apologies for absence
3. Approval of Minutes from 2020 AGM
4. Chairperson’s Report on the activities of Eco-Congregation Scotland
5. Annual Accounts and Financial Report – Mark Kirkbride, treasurer
6. Any Questions?
7. Appointment of Auditors
8. Election / re-election of Trustees
9. Any other competent business
12.45pm A Prayer for COP – Rev David Coleman, Eco-Chaplain
12.50pm Annual Gathering and AGM closes – followed by open opportunity for informal chat in breakout rooms
This Annual Gathering and AGM is a free event, but please consider making a donation to support our growing work with local churches across Scotland.
Please register using the form below
Responding to the Climate Emergency, the October 2020 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland agreed to develop a strategy for the entire organisation to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
In December 2020, General Synod members of the Scottish Episcopal Church also backed a motion paving the way for a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
How do you heat your church?
What do you need to change to achieve net zero emissions?
Church buildings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, historic and modern. How will you know which kind of heating is right for your building? What are the practical issues that need to be thought through in changing a heating systems? What kind of heating system should you install in a new building?
Come and hear from Andrew MacOwan (Chartered Energy Engineer and the Church of Scotland General Trustees Heating Consultant) as he shares his experience and talks about some of the practical considerations in looking to achieve net zero carbon emissions from church heating systems. There will be time for questions and discussion.
Monday 15th of February 7.30pm on Zoom.
Please complete the form at the foot of the page to register for the link to attend to this event.
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.’
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