Our Next Steps to tackle Climate Change

Our Next Steps to tackle Climate Change

10 February 2021 by Brian Cuthbertson in Climate Change.

a longer version of this article appears on the Diocese of London site here; this excerpt is reproduced with grateful thanks!

Tackling climate change is a vital part of our duty to Care for God’s Creation.

In a recent address to faith leaders on 4th February, ahead of the Glasgow conference on climate change in November 2021, the Archbishop of Canterbury said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world to look at how we have been living….We look around and see that Mozambique has been hit again by tropical storms. In Nigeria, desertification has contributed indirectly to conflict between people competing for dwindling resources. Floods and cyclones have devastated crops in Melanesia, risking poverty and food insecurity.

But the pandemic has also revealed our capacity for change; the opportunities for repentance; the potential for hope amidst suffering.

We have learnt much about our interconnectedness, and our need for one another.

It has been a revelation to many of us: we cannot go on as we have been.”

Right Revd Justn Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

You can read the Archbishop’s full speech here.

Today, Tearfund and Youthscape and Tearfund launch a key report: “Burning Down The House”; finding that just 1 in 10 young Christians think their church is doing enough to tackle the climate crisis. To keep and nurture our young people, we must tackle this crisis together.

You can read this report here.

What next?

So, in response to this global emergency – at least equal to Coronavirus and potentially unstoppable once it gets out of hand – what more can we do?

The Church of England, other Christian churches and people are promoting and taking part in a range of vital initiatives.

Here are some of the best:

- Eco Church

- Creation Care for families and people

- Climate Sunday

- Energy Switch Days

- Climate Emergency Toolkit

- Practical Path to Net Zero

- Creation Care Champions

Climate Change Protest

Eco Church

Has your church signed up yet?
Nearly 80 churches in the London Diocese are now taking part in this Christian environmental awards scheme run by A Rocha.

27 of our churches have won awards.

In spite of the pandemic, more churches in the Diocese signed up to Eco Church in 2020 than any year since 2016 when the campaign was launched.

It starts small and builds, and is something everyone in the congregation can get involved with, over weeks, months and years.

To find out more and to sign up on the journey visit Eco Church.

Creation Care for families and people

Alongside our efforts as Church, the actions of individual people at home and work and play can make a vital contribution. Now the exciting new Creationcare scheme helps us direct our efforts in a focussed and productive way.

Creation Care provides ideas for 7 areas of household life: worship and prayer; home; garden; travel; food; possessions; and community and global engagement.

Awards are available to recognise progress; as with Eco Church, an award is marked by a certificate.

Participating churches may present these certificates during services. Or you can print off your certificate at home.

Creationcare’s YouTube channel has a wealth of inspiring resources and stories.

Climate Sunday

Climate Sunday was announced in June 2020.

The campaign is run by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and will culminate in a national Climate Sunday event on Sunday 5th September 2021.

However your church is encouraged to plan its own Climate Sunday any time before then.

Register your Climate Sunday on the campaign website.

Energy Switch Days

Coming from an initial idea from a parish church in East London, the Fair Energy Campaign is encouraging churches to hold “Energy Switch Days”: a simple idea, to help people their parishes, friends, neighbours to switch to fairer, greener energy suppliers.

By arranging a switch event, it helps nudge people together into taking practical individual action, as well as it encouraging the church to switch to a greener energy too.

You can read more about this here.

They have produced a resource pack to help other churches to hold Energy Switch Days; it also will help contribute toward a churches journey to Eco Church awards. So it’s a brilliant step for any church to take, no matter what else they are doing. You can get in touch with them here.

Practical Path to Net Zero

Early in 2020, the Church of England and Diocese of London established a target of reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

There is now a self-guided checklist which allows churches to review their buildings against the Practical Path to Net Zero Carbon.

There are two versions; one for printing and one for completing on screen.

Practical Path to Net Zero resources are here.

Climate Emergency Toolkit

To support the efforts of everyone towards dealing with the Climate Emergency, the Climate Emergency Toolkithas been created by several major Christian charities, hosted by Tearfund. This highlights three themes: Prepare; Declare; Impact.

The Climate Emergency Toolkit recognises that this huge crisis will only be addressed if we keep up the pressure for action at every level. We can increase our impact by partnering with local communities and speaking up for the scale of change we need. Churches and other organisations can use their influence upwards, outwards, alongside, together. To find out how, you can download the full toolkit FREE for more details on each step and the tools you’ll need along the way.

Creation Care Champions

Caring for God’s Creation forms one of Compassionate Communities 6 key themes of work in our long term 2030 Vision for the Diocese.

Among our ambitions under Compassionate Communities, we want to establish a network of Creation Care Champions or groups.

We think there is a particular role for deaneries and deanery chapters in coordinating this network.

Could you help spread the word around your deanery, encouraging your churches to appoint Parish Champions?

Anyone who wants to help can become an Creation Care Champion. If you are interested in becoming a champion yourself, or in helping form a group, please do get in touch with me, Head of Environment and Sustainability here, or the Compassionate Communities team here.

For more information and suggestions, visit what it means to be an Creation Care Champion.

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Here are some excellent initiatives, tools and resources.

It all needs us to simply take the next step to tackling this climate crisis.

Could I ask you to prayerfully consider what your next step is as an individual, parish, and deanery?

Brian Cuthbertson

Brian is the Head of Environment and Sustainability at the Diocese of London, including leading the work to design an "Energy Footprint Tool" to measure Carbon use of churches. He has worked and written extensively on the need for us as Christians to care for God's Creation as part of our witness and stewardship.

View all posts by Brian Cuthbertson

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