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Sustainable Synod is happening in 2018

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The Church of Ireland has announced that the General Synod in Armagh in May 2018 will be a 'Sustainable Synod'. The announcement from the RCB in Dublin said that synod will aim to be paperless and, "reduce the environmental footprint of General Synod, encourage recycling, and reduce waste as much as possible." This is very welcome.

I really am pleased to see this. I made the call for a Sustainable Synod back in February with this blog post and in the Church of Ireland Gazette and it is another sign that the RCB listens and is taking action when it comes to the environment.



This is another positive step from the RCB. I hope they'll take more at General Synod itself.

Anglican Leaders in Commonwealth say it's time to turn "Words into action" on climate change

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Anglian archbishops and bishops have joined with 170 faith leaders from across the Commonwealth to call on governments to turn “words into action” on climate change. 
Commonwealth countries have increasingly been affected by the effects of climate change. The chruch leaders write, “Not even the remotest corner of the Commonwealth remains unaffected or unthreatened by the impacts of climate change.”
The leaders said that to keep the global temperature rise below the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees concerted action is needed. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph they wrote,
“Subsistence communities in African countries struggle to grow crops in increasingly arid earth. In the Pacific, rising sea levels threaten the existence of whole countries. In Asia, salination is driving people from their land. Arctic communities’ ways of life are undermined. Ever more violent and unpredictable storms devastate the Caribbean. At the scale of the Commonwealth we can see that the crisis of pover…

Archbishop Jackson hosts Climate Change Awareness Seminar

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The Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Revd Michael Jackson, is hosting a Climate Change Awareness event on 26 April 2018 at Trinity College Dublin.  The list of speakers is impressive and hints that more fossil fuel divestment is on the way.
Three academics are speaking: Prof John Sweeney, Dr Lorna Gold and is Dr Cathriona Russell.

Professor John Sweeny is the keynote speaker addressing The Science of Climate Change. There is no one better in Ireland to explain why Ireland is not immune to the dangers of climate change. He has written extensively, publishing 110 scientific papers on climate change in Ireland contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report. He also regularly writes about the topic in the national press.

Dr. Lorna Gold is Head of Policy and Advocacy in TrĂ³caire. She has led the charity’s campaign for climate justice and is an expert in the fossil fuel divestment. Speaking about solutions she has said, “fossil fuels must be phased out wit…

The Inside story of how the Church of Ireland divested from fossil fuels

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At the 2017 Church of Ireland General Synod a motion was passed to divest from coal and tar-sands. This blog post explains how it happened.
Post-synod pub dinner We met in Bobby Byrne’s Pub for dinner in Limerick after the 2017 Church of Ireland General Synod.  
Motion 11 on climate change and fossil fuel investments had just been passed. It committed the Representative Church Body (RCP) to divest from coal and tar-sands, reduce the carbon footprint of the investment portfolio, support collaborative engagement, and divest from oil and gas companies that are not serious about the change to a low carbon economy.
Over dinner I was asked by some friends, ‘How did you learn about church divestment from fossil fuels?’
Typhoon Haiyan I explained what had impacted me, ‘A few years ago my passion for climate justice was lit after the Super Typhoon Haiyan disaster in the Philippines. This was the strongest storm ever to make landfall and 7000 people were killed, millions were made homeless, and it c…

Bishop Veneables calls for action on climate change

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The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America, Bishop Greg Venables is calling together the bishops of six countries in South America to discuss the challenges posed by climate change. Bishop Venables said, “The gathering is aimed at equipping bishops and Church delegates in defining the focus and strategies to respond to the ever-growing environmental challenges resulting from climate change. In particular, the event will provide a space for mutual learning and reflection in order to define concrete steps that will put the Fifth Mark of Anglican Mission into action: ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’”

This is a timely call to action. For a number of countries in South America are beginning to suffer severe impacts from climate change. For example, 70 % of Peru’s hydroelectric power and Lima’s drinking water comes from glacial meltwater. Glaciers that have shrunk by a third since 1970 and, at the current rate…

New Podcast: #NoCupPlease

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Coffee-culture goes counterculture (Episodes are below) I love a freshly brewed coffee. I know you do too. You might buy one on the way to work, I like to have a lunchtime walk so that’s when I enjoy mine.

But recently throwing away all these disposable cups has been bothering me. Every minute 500 coffee cups are thrown away in the UK – that is 2.5 billion cups a year! I’d like to do something about that and I thought Lent might be a good time to make a change. So I’m giving up on disposable cups and sharing the journey with you by making a podcast. I’m calling it #NoCupPlease.

#NoCupPlease is a podcast experiment. I’m going to visit as many coffee shops as I can, both major chains and local coffee shops, and when I order I’m going to say something like, ‘Americano but #NoCupPlease’. I’ll record the experience as a podcast episode.

I’ll be using the Anchor Podcast app on my phone to create the podcast. You can join in the experiment by installing Anchor from the AppStore or PlayStore…

#ShowTheLove

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Members of St. Saviour’s Church Dollingstown in Magheralin Parish decided to ‘Show the Love’ on Sunday 11 February, just before Valentine’s Day, to raise awareness about how things we love might be affected by climate change.

Whether it’s coffee, the Causeway coast, sea turtles, our grandchildren or the people of Kenya, we all love someone or something which will be affected by climate change.

The changing climate is already taking a toll on vulnerable communities around the world causing, for example, drought and food shortages in East Africa and more extreme flooding and cyclones in Bangladesh.

The ‘Show the Love’ campaign is organised by Christian Aid along with over 100 other organisations as part of The Climate Coalition. They call on individuals, schools, churches, clubs and societies across Ireland and the UK to ‘Show the Love’ for everything that is threatened by climate change.

For more details search social media for #ShowTheLove and visit showthelove.org.uk for more inform…

Sustainable Synods

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Yesterday the RCB released this press article: '#RCBeClimateConscious #reduce #reuse – Bees, Trees, KeepCups and other Church House Dublin initiatives' on how the Representative Body of the Church of Ireland has stepped up its commitment to Tackling Climate Change.

I have to say, the RCB is now doing a decent job on tracking its steps on climate change, biodiversity and reducing pollution. The investment and pension funds are being cleaned up by removing investments from fossil fuels and the RCB's collaborative engagement muscles are being flexed by telling large corporations that they must speed up the transition to a carbon-free future.


It is also encouraging that the RCB is piloting an energy audit in Down and Dromore Diocese, highlighting the joint Eco-Congregations and Bishops' Appeal #jars4journeys Lent project, and introducing bee hives (1/3 of food crops need pollination but bees are in serious decline, see sos-bees.org). The policy on trees: 'plant two tre…

Church of Ireland Primate to make a statement on the environment at Lambeth Palace

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The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend Richard Clarke, will make his views on the environment known at an event in Lambeth Palace in September 2018. The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited all presiding bishops and moderators of the 39 provinces of the Anglican Communion to make a written submission to be displayed at Lambeth Palace and online during the Season of Creation from 1 September to 4 October 2018. The idea came about from the primates meeting in October 2017.
It is clear that environmental issues such as climate change are very important to the primates. This was reported by Archbishop Richard Clarke himself at the January 2016 Standing Committee, as the minutes recorded,
“Archbishop Clarke relayed that hearing directly about climate change had had a profound impact upon him – from the reality of islands in the south Pacific disappearing into the ocean through rising water levels to parts of east Africa becoming desert again though intentional deforestation.”
He also…