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Home  >  News  >  'Vital Role' for Faith Groups in Climate Campaign

News

'Vital Role' for Faith Groups in Climate Campaign

Thursday April 19 2018

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has said that churches have a major part to play in the response to climate change.

At a reception at Our Dynamic Earth, next door to the Scottish Parliament, last night (Thursday), at which the Scottish Government was challenged to commit to making Scotland a net zero carbon economy by 2050, the Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning said that churches and other faith groups could play a ‘vital role’ in convincing hearts and minds of the need for action on climate change.

He said: “While it is important to get the facts and figures about tonnes of carbon and percentages and targets right, it is the human stories that change hearts and minds, and faith groups understand this.”

Dr Browning said that faith groups could be instrumental in bringing messages from those people most affected by climate change ‘to audiences and political leaders in Scotland and elsewhere’, such as last year when the Church of Scotland organised a meeting between church representatives from the Pacific with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

He also said that the church Eco-Congregation Scotland could reach out to over 400 eco-congregations, and through them their communities, across Scotland.

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 originally set a world-leading target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

The Scottish Government now intends to introduce a new Bill which increases the target to a 90% emissions reduction.

However, faith leaders are calling for a net target of 100% to be introduced, saying that it ‘might appear very difficult to achieve but with rapid decarbonisation of the economy envisaged in the draft Scottish Energy Strategy there is no reason to dismiss it’.

The reception was jointly organised by SCIAF, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Islamic Relief, and attended by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform.

The Roman Catholic, Scottish Episcopal and Baptist churches, Interfaith Scotland, Eco-Congregation Scotland and the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society were all represented.

Dr Browning said: “A low carbon economy will not be possible unless people and communities across Scotland know why it is important and believe it is possible. This cannot be achieved by legislators or government alone; it requires hearts and minds to be convinced so that progressive change can be built on and sustained.

“And here is the… possibly most important reason why faith groups are important: because we have faith. We share the earth, our common home gifted to us, with seven billion others whose descendants depend on getting our response to climate change right. We have faith that this is possible.”


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