Thursday, 29 September 2011

Church of Scotland objects to building of Hunterston power station

The Church of Scotland has written to the Scottish Government objecting to the latest attempt to build a coal fired power station at Hunterston.

Ian Galloway, convenor of the Church and Society council said:
As the impact of climate change continues to bear down on the poorest communities around the world we become ever more convinced of the need for climate justice.  We must reduce our greenhouse emissions in Scotland.  This application does nothing to help us do this and we continue to oppose it strongly. 
You can download his full letter here:

The proposal is also being opposed by Christian Aid and local communities.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

St Andrew's Church Jerusalem reduces its carbon footprint

James Laing of the Church of Scotland in Israel writes: 

“Another carbon-saving measure we have taken is to instal solar water heaters on the roof of St Andrew's Guesthouse in June 2010, replacing old oil-fired boilers (which were not only inefficient but also dangerous and due for replacement!)  The heaters are topped up by a natural gas-fired boiler, which is rarely required.  In the last 12 months since installation this saved NIS 90,000 (GB£15,430) in financial terms, or about 11,870 litres of fuel (diesel oil which is NIS 7.58 per litre).”
St Andrew's Church, Jerusalem

Solar water heating panels on the roof of the guesthouse

Monday, 26 September 2011

Nourish Scotland Conference

The Nourish Scotland Conference takes place from Friday 30th September to Saturday 1st October in Glasgow. This conference explores the challenges and opportunities for making Scotland’s food system fairer, greener, smarter, healthier and wealthier.

To download the flyer click here (PDF file)
To download the conference programme click here (PDF file)

For further information visit the conference web site:

Carse of Gowrie Orchard Festival

The Carse of Gowrie Orchard Festival, now in its fourth year, runs from Saturday 1st until Sunday 9th October.

Here are some of the highlights:

Apple Day at the Cairn O’Mohr Winery
Sunday 2 October between 11am and 4pm
Renowned expert, Willie Duncan will be on hand to identify your apples – and he likes a challenge so come along and bring your apples and any questions about looking after your fruit trees.  We will also be juicing Carse of Gowrie apples and there will be plenty of arts and craft activities for the children.

Guided Walk of Megginch Orchard
Wednesday 5 October between 2pm and 4pm
Your chance to visit one of the oldest and most extensive heritage orchards in the Carse of Gowrie at Megginch.  Andrew Lear, ‘Appletreeman’ will be leading a guided walk around this orchard, looking at the fruit, the history and the exciting plans for the future.  Megginch is not normally open to the public so this is a rare chance to visit this beautiful old orchard. Booking is essential (phone Andrea Partridge on 01333 320701).

Rootstock Festival at Cairn O’Mohr Winery
Saturday 8 October from 11am
Rolling programme of apple pressing demonstrations, winery tours and live music.

Family Fruit Day at Elcho Castle
Sunday 9 October between 11am and 3pm
Andrew Lear will run a guided walk around this orchard and there will be a range of children’s activities.

Click here to download the leaflet (PDF file).

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Update on our Solar Panel Conference



Saturday 29 October
10am – 3.30pm

Partick South Church
259 Dumbarton Road
Glasgow G11 6AB
(5 min walk from Partick and Kelvinhall subway stations)

Expert speakers will talk on 
  • PV solar panels and the UK ‘Feed in Tariff’ 
  • the role of PV solar panels in energy management in church buildings 
  • how Selkirk Parish installed solar panels on the church roof. 
Workshops on:
  • Sustainable energy use in church community halls – how Community Energy Scotland can help
  • Planning and conservation issues - with a representative of Historic Scotland
  • How to manage an energy conservation project
  • Financing options for churches

Download a copy of the programme and booking details here:

Balfron Parish Church takes part in flower festival

Balfron Parish Church Eco-Congregation group recently took part in a flower festival.

Here are some photos and information from their display.

As an Eco-Congregation, we see gratitude and concern for God’s creation as important parts of our worship and our Christian lives. We take seriously our stewardship of the earth’s resources and endeavour to work with others in the community for a greener world.

Our display highlights our interdependence with the natural world and includes:
Hedgerow fruits: brambles, rowan, rose hips, haws and elderberries.
Garden produce: apples, plums, tomatoes and courgettes. 
Seed crops: wheat, barley and oats.

Wild flowers: *corn marigold, *cornflower, corn cockle, poppy, *oxeye daisy, *field scabious, teasel, *tufted vetch, *knapweed, *betony, purple loosestrife, *yarrow, bluebell, *red campion, *ragged robin, wild marjoram, *fox and cubs, *birds foot trefoil, *rough hawkbit, *feverfew, hedge bindweed, *white clover, honeysuckle, creeping thistle, heather (ling) and bell heather.
Plants marked * have flowered in our Church Biodiversity Border this summer.

Water Honey Containers:  copper, glass, willow, pottery, shell, wood, jute and linen.

‘Insects’: made from recycled cutlery and spark plugs.

Click on image to see larger version

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Climate Stewards in search for new CEO

We have receivwed the following information about a new role at Climate Stewards which people might be interested in:

Climate Stewards is pleased to announce that during 2011 it has successfully launched as an independent UK charity, though still within the wider A Rocha family. We are grateful to all who have made this possible and are very excited at what lies ahead.
Climate Stewards plans to continue growing significantly over the next few years in order to reach a position where in addition to supporting excellent climate projects we can afford to employ a full-time team. In the current global financial situation fundraising will be very difficult, so we expect to achieve this in 2-3 years. The current CEO, Brendan Bowles, is on secondment from A Rocha International and this arrangement comes to an end in December 2011.
The Climate Stewards Board is therefore seeking to appoint a new volunteer CEO with specialist skills in fundraising and marketing to assist it in achieving the Climate Stewards goals and also helping individuals and organisations to respond to the challenge of climate change.
The new appointment will be a demanding one and we invite your prayers as we go forward. The Climate Stewards Board and Acting Chief Executive will do everything to ensure this is a seamless transition.

For further information see this web page:

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Fuel Efficient Driver Training

Received today from the Energy Saving Trust:

We’re trying to encourage fuel efficient driving across Scotland, as an easy way for individuals to save money while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. To do so we are providing 1000, 50 minute in-car training sessions for individuals at the heavily subsidised rate of £12 per driver. Our colleagues down south have trained 20,000 drivers in this way and the average fuel saving after the training is 15% - if kept up over a year this could lead to a huge £300 saving for the average driver, which equates to 2 months of free fuel a year.
This looks like a very good offer and something that would interest Eco-Congregations. To take part contact the Energy Saving Trust. Contact details and further information available here:

Climate and Food Events in October

The World Development Movement has organised two events for October which may be of interest:

Climate justice now: climate change, debt and Scotland’s role in global justice.

Thursday October 6, 7.30-9.30pm, Glasgow

At the heart of the climate crisis lies a fundamental injustice. While rich countries got rich on an economy built on fossil fuels, it is poorer countries who are now paying the price.  We owe those countries a climate debt. Lidy Nacpil, co-ordinator of Jubilee South, from the Philippines will be speaking about debt, the impacts of climate change in her country, her experience of the United Nations climate talks and how we can help bring about climate justice.    Full details are here

World Food Day; lunch, music, workshops and discussion.

Sunday October 16, 12.45-4.30pm, Edinburgh

To mark World Food Day on October 16th, the World Development Movement, Oxfam, Take One Action film festival and a host of local food projects and producers will be holding a lunchtime meal accompanied by live music and followed by discussions and workshops.  Come along and explore the impacts of international politics and economics on the global food system and the health of people in Scotland and around the world.  Full details are here

Eco-Congregation Scotland Network Seminar

Representatives of seven of our local networks gathered in Stirling on Saturday 10th of September to discuss how they could support and be supported by our central office.

The agenda included:

How ECS can help and support networks?
Led by: Gordon Hudson

  • Communication – from ECS, between network
  • members and between networks
  • Support (developing the structure, materials and/or
  • hands on help)
  • Training
  • Your ideas

How can networks help grow the movement?
Led by: Margaret Warnock

  • Communication – spreading good practice
  • Help with award assessment process
  • Administration: minute taking, distribution and
  • meeting notification
  • Your ideas

A set of notes and conclusions from the meeting can be downloaded here:

Photographs of the meeting

The venue for the meeting Stirling Methodist Church has two Eco-Congregation awards.

The group in discussion

Friday, 9 September 2011

Training Opportunity

Energy Best Deal Training

Consumer Focus Scotland and Energy Action Scotland will be working together to provide short training sessions, FREE OF CHARGE, to a range of organisations who may be able to support vulnerable people concerned about rising fuel costs and paying energy bills.

The course will outline:

  • Causes and effects of fuel poverty
  • Switching energy tariff and supplier
  • Effective signposting
  • Energy efficiency grants and assistance
Courses run from September to December. For full details click here (pdf file).

Energy Action Scotland is a national charity campaigning for an end to fuel poverty in Scotland.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Cambodia: Rural poor at risk from climate change, says report

Reuters is reporting that:

According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), shorter and more intense rainy seasons, combined with longer and drier seasons, are expected to significantly alter the country's agricultural landscape. Predicted rises in temperature could have devastating effects on the rice crops on which many rural livelihoods rely.
Studies in the region suggest rice production, a staple part of the Cambodian diet, could decline significantly with a one degree Celsius rise in temperature, making rice farming unviable for many, the CHDR report says.

For the full article click here.

It is interesting to note that an increase in average temperature of just one degree can have a significant effect on food production.

Tool for comparing different countries carbon emissions

We cam across this tool by Google which presents data on carbon emissions from different countries.

Click here to view UK, USA, China and North Korea.

You can select other countries using the left hand menu. These figures are per person in the population which is a more useful comparison. To view the total carbon by country click here.

The big drop in North Korea's carbon emissions was caused by the famine in 1997 when most of the electricity supply was switched off.

It makes interesting reading.