THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND is encouraging members to volunteer at the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26), which is due to take place from 1 – 12 November in Glasgow.

Duties will include providing helpful information to visitors about the conference, as well as the host city, and will be a chance for people to engage in what will be a global event. Glasgow City Council, which is coordinating the recruitment for the temporary roles, says that a key element will be to provide “Glasgow’s world-famous warm welcome”.

“Volunteers will interact with delegates in and around Glasgow city centre, along the main walking routes to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), at key transport and accommodation hubs and also at key locations in Edinburgh”, the advert states. “Volunteers will undertake shifts during the period 28 October – 14 November and must be available during this period. Volunteers should expect to undertake around six shifts during this time and will be invited to attend training ahead of these dates.”

At the Paris climate conference in 2015 world leaders pledged to limit climate change to below two degrees centigrade higher than the pre-industrial average global temperature, and it is hoped that at the COP26 countries will agree even more ambitious goals.

The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, convener of the Faith Impact Forum, said: “There are many things the current health crisis has taught us: the need to care for our neighbours and to care for the planet is right up there, alongside self-care.

“The COP26 in Glasgow offers people an opportunity to show how sincere we are about playing our tiny part in re-setting the world’s agenda so that this planet continues to be as beautiful, as fruitful and as diverse for future generations to continue to enjoy and protect.

“The world belongs to God. Let’s show it, by being ready to volunteer and to engage with the opportunities and challenges that will come from COP26. Our neighbours, the planet and we, will all be the better for it. Let’s do this!”

The Presbytery of Glasgow will also be working ecumenically with Glasgow Churches Together Glasgow to set up a COP26 Co-ordinating Group. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted in 2020 for the Kirk to become net-carbon neutral by 2030.

A new working group within the Church of Scotland will look at ways that this ambitious target can be reached and encourage congregations to get involved with the different aspects of caring for creation.

At this year’s General Assembly, the Faith Impact Forum will be focusing on a ‘A Just and Green Future’, which will look at how, in the wake of the pandemic, society can become fairer whilst also tackling environmental issues.

For those who cannot volunteer but would like to get involved with environmental issues:

  • People aged 18-30 can apply to take part in Christian Aid’s prophetic activist scheme. The nine-month programme aims to support people to campaign for the issues they care about..
  • Register a church with Eco-Congregation Scotland.
  • The South Glasgow Local Network of eco-congregations is hosting an open monthly prayer gathering leading up to COP26 on the first Thursday of each month from 4-5pm.
  • Watch  ‘Migration, Refugees and Climate Change’, This online discussion is a joint event between Faith Impact Forum and Christian Aid, taking place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am.

* Apply to volunteer at COP26 here.

* Source: The Church of Scotland