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Home  >  News  >  Charities Welcome Church Emissions Pledge


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Charities Welcome Church Emissions Pledge

Monday October 5 2020

Christian environmental and development charities have applauded the Church of Scotland’s commitment to work towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation within 10 years.

In a joint statement Christian Aid, Eco-Congregation Scotland and Operation Noah said they ‘joyfully welcome’ the decision at Saturday’s General Assembly, but called on the Church to withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel industries.

The General Assembly passed a motion instructing the Church’s 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 the General Assembly of 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.’

The issue of the Church’s investment in fossil fuels was debated at the General Assemblies of 2018 and 2019, and would have returned this year if a full assembly had been held as normal in May. Although it was decided there was insufficient time to debate the issue during the weekend’s shortened assembly, it did accept a motion calling for a report to the 2021 gathering on ‘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.”

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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James McGrouther - Thursday, October 8th, 2020

“Great to see the Church leading by example. This is probably one of the greatest challenges facing the world at the moment. Carried out carbon footprint for the company I worked for a few years ago. There are many things which can be done easily and at minimal cost to lower carbon footprints.”

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