Christians to take steps to combat climate emergency
Published on 22 August 2022 2 minutes read
Church of Scotland members are being invited to step out in support of climate justice and join others in Scotland and around the world on a virtual journey from Glasgow to Egypt.
Taking place in the run-up to United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27, Walk2COP27 is based on the journey from COP26 host city Glasgow to this year's venue Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea.
Over the 45 days of Walk2COP27, a dozen countries between Scotland and Egypt will host hybrid or virtual "Townhall" meetings to showcase the impact of climate change and the solutions that are being deployed in each nation, beginning with the Glasgow event on Thursday 22 September.
Sam Baker, who is leading Walk2COP27, said: "Walk2COP27 is all about mass-participation. We want those participating to learn from each other, to build a sense of solidarity in the fight against climate change across boundaries of every sort, and to make connections to catalyse climate action.
"The Church of Scotland recognises the immediate threat that climate change presents, and Walk2COP27 provides each individual, and each congregation an opportunity to respond to that recognition."
Last month the Church was among the signatories of a multifaith petition calling on the world's governments to honour the COP26 commitments made in Glasgow last November which was sent to UK Government minister and COP26 president Alok Sharma, as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
A timely opportunity
Eco-Congregation Scotland, which has been representing faiths on the Walk2COP27 Scottish steering group on behalf of the COP26 Interfaith Working Group, is also asking individuals, churches and faith groups to be part of Walk2COP27.
This could include taking part in their own COP27 journey by walking, running or actively travelling as far as they can over the 45 days by other means such as bicycle or wheelchair.
Their progress will be tracked on the atlasGO platform and trees will beplanted by the Jane Goodall Institute for the kilometres travelled by the end of the virtual journey on 6 November 2022, providing a practical response to the challenge of climate change.
Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson Richard Murray commented: "Towards the end of our journey, participants will contribute to a proclamation which will be delivered to the formal participants at COP27. Climate Justice is always a strong motivator for faith-inspired action and this offers a timely opportunity to join voices around the world, speaking as one on tackling the climate crisis."
Scottish participants will also be encouraged to attend the in-person and online sessions, provide input to a proclamation to be published for COP27 and engage in local climate actions, including fundraising for the Jane Goodall Institute.
Rev Karen Hendry, convener of the Church of Scotland's faith Impact Forum, welcomed the initiative.
She said: "COP27 to be held on the Red Sea, is the next step in urging humanity to part with the practices that harm the planet.
"The Church of Scotland prays for a successful outcome and is pleased to support Walk2COP27 held over 45 days and beginning in Glasgow, enabling people everywhere to take part in building momentum towards this crucial summit meeting."
The journey starts on Thursday 22 September at 12.30pm with an open hybrid meeting hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and including panel discussions on Scotland's climate change challenges and solutions.