Friday, 28 October 2011

Student from Strathclyde Unversity going to Durban

You may have read on our news page about the we have faith petition for climate justice. A student from Strathclyde University called Claire has contacted us to say that she is going on the We Have Faith: Act Now caravan and the Youth for Eco-Justice event in Durban.

You can read Claire's blog here.

Claire hopes to contribute articles to our blog during her travels.

Here is a list of recent articles from Claire's blog (will update automatically as new ones are added):

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Bridge made from Plastic Bottles

According to Greenwise Business News the first road bridge built entirely from recycled plastic bottles has opened in the Scottish borders. Crossing the River Tweed at Easter Dawyck in Peeblesshire, the bridge is constructed from 50 tons of plastic bottles.

"Start-up company Vertech Limited partnered with Dawyck Estates, specialist bridge designer Cass Hayward LLP, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, Rutgers University’s AAMIPP Department and Axion International – with support from the Welsh Assembly Government – to make the project a reality.
The bridge now spans the River Tweed at Easter Dawyck in Peeblesshire and forms part of the historic John Buchan Way. It was built off-site and assembled in just four days by a team from Glendinning Groundworks, a local Peeblesshire contractor, and 10 Field Squardron (Air Support), Royal Engineers.
Being made from plastic it won’t rust, requires no painting or regular maintenance and is 100 per cent recyclable, Vertech."

For the full article click here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Campaigning on Climate Change with Christian Aid and SCCS

Eco-Congregation Scotland works closely with Christian Aid. We are currently running a series of Eco Workshops together which highlight the effect that Climate Change is having on countries around the world as well as Scotland and what we might do in response.

Christian Aid is a member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS). SCCS are currently trying to keep the Scottish Government on track regarding their momentous Climate Change Act Moment in 2009.

Why is it important?
Scotland ’s Climate Change Act is world-leading. With a 42% emissions reduction target by 2020, it's in line with scientists' recommendations if we want to protect people and nature from the devastating impacts of climate change. But while we're leading the way with our Climate Act, it'll be impossible to meet our commitments if there isn't adequate funding. We must make sure that our government takes action to create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Scotland , and a better world for us all. The Scottish Government is planning next year's budget now for Parliament to consider - so please help us put the pressure on to ensure they allocate enough public funds for action on climate change - such as insulating housing and providing better public transport.

Send a special email to your MSP 
If one of your MSPs is listed below, you have an important role to play in helping Scotland move towards a low carbon future. The Scottish Government has published their draft budget, but it does not currently fund even the minimum activities required if we’re to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in our Climate Change Act. This group of MSPs has high influence when it comes to reducing Scotland’s emissions – if your MSP is listed below, please take action today.

If you’re not sure which constituency you live in, find out here.

Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
Maureen Watt MSP, Convenor of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee

Airdrie and Shotts
Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment

Caithness, Sutherland & Ross
Rob Gibson MSP, Convenor of the Rural Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Committee

Clackmannanshire and Dunblane
Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Transport and Housing

Cunninghame North
Kenny Gibson MSP, Convenor of the Finance Committee

Lothians region
Gavin Brown MSP, Convenor of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Climate change migration warning

A new international report, published today, reveals that the major challenges associated with migration and environmental change have been underestimated. By focusing solely on those that might leave vulnerable areas, we risk neglecting those that will be ‘trapped’ and those that will actually move towards danger.

One of the reasons the report was commissioned was to examine concerns that the environmental degradation caused by climate change would lead to millions of so-called climate refugees abandoning sterile farmland and migrating to countries less affected by the problem.

Detailed analysis commissioned specifically for the study found that this was unlikely to be the case. Three-quarters of the migration, it says would be within national borders - predominantly from rural to urban areas.
The issue, according to Professor Beddington, was to ensure that the migration was properly managed - otherwise, he said, it was likely there would be widespread humanitarian disasters on an unprecedented scale.

You can read a BBC article on the report here.

Details of  The Migration and Global Environmental Change Foresight Report can be found on the Government's Foresight web site here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hope For Creation - A Global Day Of Prayer And Action On Climate Change

From Tearfund:

On Sunday 6 November 2011 Tearfund is joining with partners across the world for Hope for Creation - a global day of prayer and action on climate change - and we’d love you to join us!

We’re expecting thousands of Christians around the world to join in by praying and speaking up for justice for our global neighbours and for action to protect God’s creation.

Urgent action is desperately needed internationally to tackle climate change and protect the world’s poorest people who are suffering the most. We hope this day will unite the global church in praying and acting for progress at the UN climate talks in Durban this December and for action in our own countries to respond to the issue.

Take part at home, with a group of friends or with your whole church. All you need to do is pray as we speak with one voice for action on climate change.

Visit to sign up to take part and to download resources - including a prayer resource - to help you and your church join in.

Water crisis in Tuvalu

The World Council of Churches reports:

On 28 September, the Tuvalu government declared Tuvalu to be in a state of emergency due to water shortage - the result of a five-month drought in the Pacific Island nation.

The Rev. Tafue Lusama, general secretary of the Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu (Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, EKT), wrote:

"Here on the capital Funafuti, the government has sealed all the water catchments on the island and whatever little water that is left is rationed to all people at a ration of about 20 litres per household.

"Most severely affected are the southern islands of Nukulaelae which are experiencing a difficult time with water shortage and local food as well. The coconut tree tops has started falling off, breadfruit trees are dead, banana plantations are dried up, and even the traditional pulaka pits are rotten.

"On behalf of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu I would like to appeal to you for your prayers as we face this critical challenge due to climate change. The EKT is doing what it can to assist the people most affected, and we need you to stand with us in our efforts."

Thirty new cases of water born disease were confirmed in Tuvalu on 6 Ocober as the country's water crisis deepens. Authorities have confirmed that the outbreak is due to the current drought and poor quality drinking water.

For the full article click here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Scottish Power Fuel Mix

I thought I would share this from the back of my own electricity statement from Scottish Power.

As you can see, Scottish power gets more than the national average of its electricity from fossil fuels and renewables. This is because they are not using any power from nuclear sources.



Etik & Energi European Newsletter

We have received a copy of Etik & Energi’s European newsletter on sustainable energy management for churches, dioceses and parishes. This organisation is based in Sweden and has some similar aims to Eco-Congregation.

Click here to download a copy of the newsletter (pdf file).

Friday, 7 October 2011

Small grants in Central Scotland

A range of small grants (usually £200 to £500) are available for organisations in Central Scotland (by which I think they mean the areas of Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannan councils) through the Central Scotland Green Network community fund.

Some of these might be applicable to churches so please click here for further information.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Climate change could make chocolate a luxury item

Cocoa Plant
The Huffington Post reports that half of the world's cocoa supplies are under threat from climate change in west Africa.

According to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, if Ghana and the Ivory Coast experience a 2.3 Celsius degree jump in temperature by 2050, the climate won't be suitably cool enough to grow the crop.
The research, commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, used the combined results of 19 climate models to assess the impact of climate change on cocoa production. 
As early as 2030, farmers will begin to see an impact on the crop, notes Scientific American. 

For the full article click here.

Selkirk Parish Church needs your support.

Selkirk Parish Church is looking for your support in obtaining funding from RBS Community Force for their new project. The congregation intends to transform their victorian hall into a into a green exemplar in the community by energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy to create a great community hall.

The hall is already used by 9000 people every year.

To vote for the project go here:

Monday, 3 October 2011

Arbroath Old and Abbey Church Eco Awareness Newsletter

The Old and Abbey Church in Arbroath is an active eco-congregation. They produce their own newsletter and the latest issue is now available. It contains lots of interesting articles and information.

To download a copy click here (pdf file).