Young Christians invited to join climate activism event ahead of COP26

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow in November, young Christians are taking part in a relay from Cornwall to Glasgow, and are inviting fellow young activists based in Scotland and the north of England to join them for an online networking event this Thursday (19 August).

A group of young Christians set off on their climate change relay
The YCCN’s relay to COP26 is currently covering 1,200 miles from Cornwall to Glasgow to campaign for decisions to be made that protect people – not bank balances – and that ensure no country will go into debt tackling climate change.

The Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) are an action-focused community of young Christians in the UK aged between 18-30, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice.

The YCCN's relay to COP26 is currently covering 1,200 miles from Cornwall to Glasgow to campaign for decisions to be made that protect people – not bank balances – and that ensure no country will go into debt tackling climate change.

The networking event this Thursday will be jointly hosted by the Church of Scotland, YCCN and Christian Aid, and will help you find out more about how you can get involved in tackling climate change, as well as discussing your hopes with fellow activists.

A turning point in the life, work and witness of the Church

"Across the nation, the climate emergency is uppermost in the minds of young people, with well over 80% seeing it as the most important issue the world faces," Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Kirk's Faith Impact Forum, said.

"When it comes to young people of faith, 9 out of 10 view the climate as of paramount importance while only a sobering 1 in 10 think the churches are doing enough to address matters.*

"These figures, alongside the publication last Monday of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, offer an enormous incentive for us to take the environment and our young people's fears seriously.

"The recent General Assembly decision to aim for a Net Zero Church by 2030 laid down an important marker - but it is only a start. There is so much more to do.

"COP26 in Glasgow provides us with the opportunity to both say and do something about the Biblical imperative to care for God's gift of creation. This is a chance for people of all ages to support the lead our young people are giving and to encourage active engagement with the big questions the current serious climate emergency raises.

"Can we encourage our young people to support the pilgrimage to Glasgow? Can we create opportunities locally to show support for young people? Are there things we can do to show our commitment to the future our young people are going to have to face?

"To say this is a turning point in the life, work and witness of the Church is no understatement.

"We need to act now - in sincerity and love."

* Source: Tearfund research – ‘Burning Down the House'.

Register for this Thursday's event

This Thursday's free online informational and networking event will take place on Thursday 19 August from 7pm-8pm. You can register via Eventbrite.

To find out more about what else you can do in the lead-up to this year's COP26, we've produced a helpful list of ideas including a pledge to join together in prayer and to take action for God's creation.

More details on how the Church of Scotland will be taking part in this year's COP26 events will be released in the following weeks and months, so stay tuned to our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for all the latest updates.

To get in touch with any comments, suggestions or ideas you may have, you can contact the Faith Impact Forum by email.