Friday, 9 September 2011

Carbon emissions targets and caring for creation

It’s coming round to that time of year again when getting the fire going and cranking up the central heating seems like an ideal plan - particularly on days like today when the warmth of summer feels like a distant memory! According to a news report this week, last years cold snap saw greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland increase by 9% as people endeavoured to keep warm at home in the Arctic winter conditions we were experiencing.

This rise in emissions was in sharp contrast to previous years, where the output of greenhouse gases in Scotland have been recorded as steadily declining, keeping us on track to meeting the Scottish Government’s target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Climate change is something which we as a Church are wholeheartedly committed to tackling, and these reports show that we still have considerable work to do. At our General Assembly in 2009 we noted the serious damage the effects of climate change are having not just to our natural environment, but also on the lives of those people trapped in the grip of poverty.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that we are presently in “Creation Time” – a period set apart to allow us to reflect on the way we care for environment. Now seems a good a time as any then to remind ourselves that, in the words of Psalm 24:
“The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it.”

This is God’s Earth. From the highest mountain to the deepest ocean – all things belong God. We are the stewards of this magnificent creation, a role which we all too often neglect. Creation Time presents a good opportunity for you and your Church to reflect on the contribution you are making to halting this increase of damaging greenhouse gas emissions we seeing in Scotland.

The Church of Scotland supports the ecumenical movement Eco-Congregation Scotland. It exists to help congregations link environmental issues to their faith and take action in their church and local community. Environmental protection is an important principle, but it is something that needs to be practically outworked in the way we use our resources and buildings etc. If you find you’re struggling to make the step from principle to practice then can I urge you to get in contact with our sisters and brothers at Eco-Congregations, they’d be delighted to assist you in any way they can as we journey together to conserve this beautiful, God-given world in which we live.

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