New measures to cut carbon footprint of Scottish churches

By agency reporter
September 29, 2009

The Church of Scotland has welcomed guidance detailing how every congregation can measure its own carbon footprint and then take steps to reduce it.

Today, Eco-Congregation Scotland will publish a report, entitled “Climate Change: Managing Your Carbon Footprint”, which urges congregations to manage, monitor and reduce their energy consumption.

The launch will take place at St Andrew’s and St George’s Church in Edinburgh, as churches celebrate a key milestone in the bid to tackle climate change through practical action by grassroots members.

The report says simple measures, such as recycling materials and insulating hot water pipes can go a long way in reducing carbon emissions, as well as fuel bills.

The Rev Ewan Aitken, Church and Society Council secretary and Eco-Congregation Scotland convener, said: “The Church of Scotland believes congregations can be the catalyst for change in countries in the fight against global warming by actions as well as words.

“This tool is one more step along that journey.”

Keynote speaker at the launch, Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Climate Change, said he too was impressed by the plans: “Meeting the ambitious targets set by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act will be a challenge, and it will require all of us to work together – so I applaud this excellent work with congregations as a helpful part of that effort.

“The Eco-congregations initiative enthuses communities across Scotland to save energy in their churches and their homes and help tackle climate change.”

At the May General Assembly, ministers instructed every Church of Scotland congregation to make year-on-year reductions of five per cent in their carbon footprints.

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