Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Examples of environmental action by churches needed for new book.

A message from Neil Hollow of St Paul's and St George's Church in Edinburgh:

"I'm jointly writing a book on a Christian response to peak oil called "No Oil in the Lamp: Faith, Fuel and the Energy Crisis", as part of this we want to feature examples of churches taking action in the following areas; transport, energy use, using growing local food and interaction with the transition movement. I would like to visit preferably or chat with a representative on the phone."

If anyone is interested in helping Neil, please contact us and we will put you in touch.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Scottish Government Announces New Sustainable Transport Funding Package

The Scottish Sustainable Network report on the Scottish Government announcement on a new Sustainable Transport Funding Package:

The Scottish Government last week announced details of a new four year sustainable transport fund. The Future Transport Fund is a four year £50 million funding package targeted at improving cycling infrastructure, shifting freight from road to rail and supporting low carbon vehicles.

The Fund will help support:
- The development of electric vehicle infrastructure and the Plugged in Places Programme.
- Sustrans to work in partnership with Local Authorities to develop the National Cycle Network and short community links.
- The wider roll out of low carbon buses via a third round of the Scottish Green Bus Fund in 2013/14.
- The continuation of Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) to support businesses to move freight from road to rail or sea

The Scottish Government have allocated an initial £11.1 million for the period 2012/13 – 2013/14.
A further £18.75 million will be announced in early 2013 for the period 2014/15. The remaining 20.25 million will be allocated in 2015/16.

The initial funding over 2012/13 – 2014/15 will be allocated as follows:
- £2.75 million will go to Cycling Infrastructure: £1.5 million in 2012-13 and £1.25 million in 2013-14
- £2.75 million will go to Freight Modal Shift: £0.75 million in 2012/13 and £2 million in 2013/14
- £5.5 million will go to Low Carbon Vehicles, including Green Buses: £1.0 million in 2012/13 and £4.5 million in 2013-14.
Read more by clicking on the link: http://www.sustainable-scotland.net/news.asp?id=2204

See also our Eco-Congregation Scotland at Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Rally blog: http://ecocongregationscotland.blogspot.com/2012/01/eco-congregation-scotland-at-stop.html

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Scottish Green List

Do you know someone you would like to nominate for this year's Scottish Green Champion's Award 2012? Please check out the details and download nomination forms on: http://www.scottishgreenlist.org.uk/

Friday, 20 January 2012

New Scottish Government Campaign to promote Greener Lifestyles

The Scottish Government has launched a new campaign to encourage people to work together to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions and live more environmentally friendly lifestyles.  The campaign uses a television advert to encourage people to visit a new web site http://www.greenerscotland.org/. This contains information themed around the ten key behaviour changes the government are concentrating on along with a very clever tool called My Greener Plan that assesses visitors’ current environmental behaviour and suggests small changes which would make a difference. People can opt to register for the service and receive updates and further suggestions.

Here is the TV ad:

This campaign fits in very well with the work of Eco-Congregation Scotland because we are using the same ten key behaviour changes as a framework for our work with church congregations and members.

We encourage people to visit the web site and use the information and  My Greener Plan. The intention is that the amount of information available and links to other organisations will continue to grow.

The Ten Key Behaviour Changes

These were identified by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Behaviour Research Programme.

Home Energy
1. Installing a more efficient energy system or generating your own.
2. Keeping the heat in.
3. Better heating management.
4. Saving electricity

5. Becoming less reliant on the car.
6. Driving more efficiently
7. Using alternatives to flying where practical

8. Avoiding food waste
9. Eating a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables, locally in season where we live
10. Reducing and Reusing

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Tearfund Carbon Fast 2012

Tearfund are running their  Carbon Fast again for lent. It runs from 22nd February to 7th April and is an opportunity for individulas and churches to consider climate justice issues and personal action on climate change.

For further information visit the Carbon Fast web site:
where you can download the booklet and other resources.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Scotland in 2011: what was the weather like?

We all moan about the weather, sometime with good reason, but it’s good to keep a record of what 2011 was really like.  It may have seemed like another year of poor weather but in fact it was the sixth warmest year on record.  

The graph has been prepared by Richard Dixon of WWF Scotland.  The black line shows the actual temperatures for each month of 2011 and the green line the average temperatures for the years 1971-2000.  The year started off with temperatures slightly below average for January followed by four months (February – May) when temperatures were above average.  The summer was slightly cooler than average and then there was a very mild autumn. 

In fact Scotland had the warmest spring and second warmest autumn on record and was also (not shown in the graph) the wettest year since the records began in 1910.  April and November were the warmest recorded.   Overall 5 months were 1 degree Celsius above average and 2 were 2 degrees above average.
One warm year does not mean climate is changing but the record for the past two decades has seen temperatures consistently above average.  As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase, now 390 parts per million and rising at about two parts per million each year, we can expect to see more above average temperatures and more records broken in coming years. 

Adrian Shaw

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Eco-Congregation Scotland at Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Rally

Eco-Congregation Scotland took part in a rally organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland earlier today calling for Scottish Ministers to increase funding for cycling and walking instead of funding expensive road-building programmes that will increase Scotland’s carbon footprint.

Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport addressed the rally outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh which was attended by around 150 cyclists and others.

Keith Brown MSP addressing the rally

The Eco-Congregation Banner

Oyunn, the Eco-Congregatrion administrator brought her bike.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Climate change castaways consider move to Australia

From the Sidney Morning Herald:
THE President of what could be the first country in the world lost to climate change has urged Australia to prepare for a mass wave of climate refugees seeking a new place to live.
The Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, said his government was considering Australia as a possible new home if the tiny archipelago disappears beneath rising seas.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-change-castaways-consider-move-to-australia-20120106-1pobf.html#ixzz1ixP8ZX00