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Church takes action on climate change


Charities have welcomed the news that the Church of Scotland will move to zero net climate emissions within the next decade

The Church of Scotland has pledged to move towards having zero net carbon emissions.

Charities Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah have welcome the decision of the church to set a 2030 net zero target.

At the Church of Scotland 2020 General Assembly on Saturday (3 October), 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 the 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.’

Rev 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’.

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 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.”



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