The Eco-Congregation initiative is planning various Climate Action events leading up to December 2020, when the 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN climate change convention will be meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. Five years after the Paris climate agreement, the Glasgow event is a critical one to assess the adequacy of country action plans to limit global warming to 2°C. Eco-Congregation is encouraging its participants to engage through the following worship activities in 2020:
- Hold a service on Climate Sunday: Sunday 6 September.
- Join the Christian Aid CoP26 Prayer Chain: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/prayer-chain
- Creation time 2020 runs from 1 September to 4 October. Worship resources will be posted on the ECS website soon: https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/creation-time/
Eco-Congregation also hosts an Environmental Chaplaincy and is part of the Faith Action for Nature (https://faithactionfornature.org) project, which encourages churches to engage with nature and manage the church grounds in Scotland for wildlife. The project is testing ways of working between churches and conservation agencies.
CofS Geneva is one of the Eco-Congregation participant congregations, all of who start their involvement with a self-assessing Environmental Check-Up. Congregations are invited to participate in the annual Eco-Congregation Awards. Recommended activities in for example the area of church management include the purchase Fairtrade and organic products (which Geneva does for Sunday School), using local suppliers where possible (for instance our annual Geneva fair), minimizing waste during special events, using environmentally friendly cleaning materials and recycled paper, applying environmental criteria in church renovations, and having an ethical investment policy for pension savings.
Eco-Congregation was launched in 2000 at a special service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in the presence of representatives of most main denominations. Today Eco-Congregation Scotland continues to offer a programme to enthuse and equip churches to weave environmental issues into their life and mission in an enjoyable and stimulating way.
Historically the Eco-Congregation initiative organizes its activities around three strands:
- Spiritual living: Making the link between environmental issues and Christian faith
- Practical living: Taking practical action in the church
- Global living: Influencing attitudes and take action in the local or global community
For more information, see the Eco-Congregation website at https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org
What can Church of Scotland, Geneva members do to promote Fairtrade?
We have agreed to sign up as a FAIRTRADE CHURCH. This means that we will serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at our coffee hour after church, and at other church meetings; to the extent, we can use other Fairtrade products like biscuits, sugar, and fruit; and promote Fairtrade in any way we can.
The main thing we can do is?
BE AWARE of what we are buying, and where possible, buy products which have labels such as:
Fairtrade focuses on improving trading conditions faced by producers in the Third World.
The Forest Stewardship Council certifies that forest-based products are produced in an environmentally sustainable way, and thus safeguards ecological conditions.
The Clean Clothes Campaign promotes codes of conduct regarding labor in the textiles and clothing industry and helps to prevent sweatshop conditions.
In addition, “Buy Local” campaigns help to reduce Food Miles, diminish the carbon footprint of goods transported to Europe, and reduce difficulties faced by local farmers in Switzerland and France.