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“The needs of nations most acutely threatened by climate change lie at the heart of the Paris Agreement and indeed of the UN climate convention: morally and practically, there can be no successful outcome at COP26 that does not deliver for the most vulnerable across the full range of issues.”
Statement from the Least Developed Countries group, ahead of COP26.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
Psalm 24 v 1
Sunday 25th July
Dear Lord, we know that in all creation only the human family has strayed from the sacred way. We know that we are the ones who, working together, must come back to walk in the path you have set for us. Dear Lord, teach us love, compassion and integrity, that we may heal the earth and heal each other.
Monday 26th July
Ireland, North and South, has been identified as a hotspot in the new European mining boom. To date,27% of the south and 25% of the North has been concessioned for mineral prospecting licences. The global gold industry has been a driver of this mining rush, one of the most ecologically and socially destructive industries in the world. From the Sperrins in Counties Tyrone and Derry to Donegal and Connemara, rural communities are being confronted with plans to mine for gold. Most of the interest is coming from Canadian mining corporations. Around the world women are on the frontlines of the fight against extractivism. In Ireland, women are a vital component of these struggles. Tactics have ranged from public meetings, judicial reviews, an occupation of Dalradian’s proposed site near Greencastle, as well as in person events and webinars to share experiences and foster solidarity with other frontline communities from Peru, Cyprus, Romania, Colombia to the Lakota Nation.
Tuesday 27th July
Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to reach net-zero by 2030, but green groups are accusing the business of greenwashing, as emissions from flights will not be covered. [The] briefing [in late June] saw executives confirming a new net-zero target for 2030, covering airfield operations, buildings and the ground transport fleet. In the meantime, local green groups have expressed anger at the net-zero and carbon neutrality targets, as they do not cover emissions from flights or from passengers driving to and from the airport. On the latter, the Green Party claims that more than 87% of passengers to have used the airport in 2019 arrived by car.
Wednesday 28th July
Tonight in Green Christian’s series of fortnightly webinars is a Bible Discussion: How should we balance trusting in God’s sovereignty versus personally taking action on the climate? With Deborah Tomkins. A common response of many Christians to the Climate Crisis is to say that they will trust in God. The Bible says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8v28). In that case, they say, why should Christians worry? Surely having faith in God is enough? Deborah will discuss some aspects of this belief, and how Christians share the work of Christ in bringing renewal and life to all aspects of our broken world. Deborah Tomkins is Co-Chair of Green Christian, and has been a member for over 25 years. To register:
Thursday 29th July
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have claimed a “big breakthrough” in the development of a battery that can function structurally as well as a power source. The load-bearing batteries are being developed with KTH Royal Institute of Technology for use in aircraft, vehicle and building design. Structural batteries, which are also known as massless energy storage, aim to significantly reduce the weight of battery-powered vehicles or other objects by incorporating batteries into the structure of the object. By so doing, the need for separate batteries is reduced or potentially even eliminated. This could result in significant efficiency gains. A lighter electric vehicle, for example, will require less energy to drive if all other things are equal.
Friday 30th July
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings, widely used by asset managers to make climate-friendly investments, need tighter oversight to avoid risks to the smooth functioning of financial markets, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday. Investors are increasingly demanding that asset managers put their cash into companies that meet “green” or ESG criteria, with references to ESG ratings embedded into their investment processes, the FCA said. But the ESG ratings business, a market that could be worth $1 billion this year, has no firm definition of data provision that applies globally, the FCA said. ESG ratings providers, which rank companies’ performance based on ESG factors, have different methodology and use different ways to plug gaps in data, leading to little correlation between them, the FCA said.
Saturday 31st July
Almost 50 organisations have supported a declaration sent to the Prime Minister outlining how the biogas sector can support the net-zero ambition, provided clear and enabling policies are introduced. The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has issued the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration that commits the sector to making a significant contribution towards the UK’s net-zero target for 2050. The declaration claims that the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry could reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030, as long as new policy measures are introduced. Recommendations in the declaration include incentivising the use of biomethane in transport, most notably for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), using closed-loop approaches through AD that turns local waste into local heat and power and establishing a material hierarchy for what is suitable for AD. Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs.
Sunday 1st August
Join with many other Christians from around the world with the monthly Pray and Fast for the Climate Movement on the first of each month. Prayer points for August are on their website.
Merciful God, we believe that you uphold and sustain all that you have made, while also lovingly giving us the freedom to live in relationship with the rest of creation. We ask your forgiveness for the ways we have abused that freedom, through what we have done and what we have left undone. We bring our lament and our longing for a renewed earth to you now: (prayer from Christian Climate Action’s prayer for climate grief)
Monday 2nd August
The day-by-day agenda for COP26 in November has been released. From 1st to 12th November the main summit will focus on different topics each day. But there will be many hours of negotiations before each of those dates. Pray for all those involved, for the best outcome each day and for governments to stick to what they will promise.
Tuesday 3rd August
The World Bank Group’s new Climate Change Action Plan will attempt to deliver ‘record levels’ of climate finance to countries most in need of support to reduce emissions and improve resilience against the climate crisis. Between 2021 and 2025, the World Bank Group will ensure that 35% of its financial flows are in alignment with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Specifically, the Group will support efforts from developing countries in implementing and updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the global climate accord. Priority areas for spending include energy, agriculture, food, water and land, cities, transport and manufacturing – with a focus on resiliency, adaptation and decarbonisation …The World Bank is the largest multilateral provider of climate finance for developing countries and delivered $83bn in climate finance during its previous five-year action plan, including more than $21bn in 2020.
Wednesday 4th August
In a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO), published [in July], it is revealed that 91% of the UK’s local authorities have set at least one climate commitment, with more than one-third (38%) committing to reach net-zero for their operations or local area by 2030. But their ability to deliver against these goals could be hampered by a lack of clarity and support from Whitehall departments. On the clarity side of things, the report states that most local authorities would support the introduction of mandates for net-zero targets from councils…In terms of funding, the NAO report welcomes an increase in grant funding for local authorities’ decarbonisation initiatives from £74m in 2019-2020 to £1.2bn in 2020-2021. But it warns that funding “remains fragmented”, leaving many councils unsure of how best to access support and risking a piecemeal response.
Thursday 5th August
India’s Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man and a fossil-fuel billionaire, announced he will be investing 750 billion rupees ($10.1 billion) over three years in clean energy. Ambani is chairman, managing director, and the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries, a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company by market value. Reliance is a diverse company that gets 60% of its revenue from oil refining and petrochemicals. Ambani announced that Reliance will spend 600 billion rupees on four gigafactories to produce solar modules, hydrogen, fuel cells, and a battery grid. An additional 150 billion rupees will be invested in value chain and other partnerships. Ambani said:
“The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer. The huge quantities of carbon it has emitted into the environment have endangered life on Earth.”
Friday 6th August
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [in Ireland] has today published the Water Quality in 2020: An Indicators Report which provides an assessment of the quality of Ireland’s rivers, lakes, estuaries and groundwaters. It has found that:
- Ireland’s surface waters and groundwaters continue to be under pressure from human activities.
- Just over half of Ireland’s rivers and lakes are in a satisfactory condition which means that a large number are unable to sustain healthy ecosystems for fish, insects and plants.
- Nitrogen levels in rivers, groundwater, and estuaries in the south, southeast and east of Ireland are too high and increasing. This is primarily due to agricultural activities.
- Urgent and targeted action is required to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering our waters.
Saturday 7th August
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, successfully flew to space and landed back on Earth [last] month, a move that has reignited the conversation about rocket pollution. Over the years, pollution caused by rocket launches has often been brushed away due to the few launches taking place. However, due to the recent billionaire space race, conservationists are raising concerns over the pollution these launches create…With advancing rocket technology, the cost of touring space is decreasing and consequently attracting more tourists. Conservationists worry that the trend poses a threat to the environment, given the enormous amount of pollution rockets emit. According to Eloise Marais, an associate professor of physical geography at University College London, one long-haul flight produces a maximum of 3 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger, while one rocket produces up to 300 tons for a trip of about four people. A report from Futurism also points out that the kerosene and methane rockets burn “can end up harming the ozone layer.”
Sunday 8th August
Show the Love
God, whose heart is the centre of the Universe
whose being is interfused with the world,
You look on all people with love
Your name is Agape
You look on the child with the empty bowl
and ask us why we do not share
You look at the lonely old man
and ask why we are unfriendly,
You see the plastic in the ocean
and ask why we take so much.
Taken from Penny McCulloch’s prayer https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/show-the-love-prayer-2021/
Monday 9th August
Just 2% of the Covid-19 stimulus funding promised by nations has been spent on clean energy, meaning that global emissions are likely to hit a record high in 2023 and continue rising thereafter. That is the key finding of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Sustainable Recovery Tracker. Published [in July], the Tracker analyses more than 800 policy decisions taken across more than 50 countries in relation to delivering the economic recovery from Covid-19…According to the IEA, unless green recovery plans are scaled up and high-carbon investments pared back, global emissions are likely to climb to record levels by 2023 and continue to rise in the years thereafter. The emissions increase will be 800 million tonnes lower than if no green recovery efforts were enacted, but, nonetheless, the world will remain off-track to deliver the Paris Agreement or net-zero by 2050.
Tuesday 10th August
In the archive of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology there is a typed note from the 1960s that planted the seed of an idea. The note reads: “It might be interesting to watch what happens to this area if man does not interfere. Will it become a wood again, how long will it take, which species will be in it?” So began the Monks Wood Wilderness experiment, which is now 60 years old. A rewilding study before the term existed, it shows how allowing land to naturally regenerate can expand native woodland and help tackle climate change and biodiversity loss…The result is a structurally complex woodland with multiple layers of tree and shrub vegetation, and accumulating deadwood as the habitat ages.
Wednesday 11th August
Tonight’s Green Christian online workshop is Labyrinths: spirituality, place and the environment with Annabel Barber. Annabel Barber passionately believes that labyrinth spirituality has a role to play in repairing damaged connections between people and their environment, and enabling us to change how we live. Labyrinths are a spiritual tool used in many religions since prehistory, with a particular flowering in Christianity during the age of building the great Cathedrals of Europe. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in labyrinths as an accessible and valuable spiritual tool for everyone. The workshop will give some basic introductory information about labyrinths, outline what labyrinth spirituality is, explore its practice, and provide resources, connections and suggestions of ways to deepen our engagement with this valuable tool. Free, but you need to register at:
Thursday 12th August
The left-leaning government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the world’s largest island, calling it is “a natural step” because the Arctic government “takes the climate crisis seriously.” No oil has been found yet around Greenland, but officials there had seen potentially vast reserves as a way to help Greenlanders realize their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the annual subsidy of 3.4 billion kroner ($540 million) the Danish territory receives. “The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain,” the Greenland government said in a statement. The government said it “wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis.”
Friday 13th August
Although monarch butterfly populations have faced habitat loss with the increased use of herbicides, the primary reason for their decline is climate change, a new study has found. An analysis by researchers at Michigan State University of 18,000 surveys conducted over a 25-year period, largely by volunteers, found that the weather conditions in spring and summer breeding grounds from Texas to the Midwest and Southern Ontario, was seven times more important in determining monarch population levels than other factors, like the loss of milkweed habitat and mortality of butterflies during the autumn migration. In the spring breeding grounds, like Texas, and parts of the summer breeding grounds, like Iowa and Ohio, monarch populations were highest when temperatures were more moderate, and they declined when temperatures were above normal.
Saturday 14th August
…Petorca, 200 kilometres north of the Chilean capital Santiago, is facing a water crisis due to the explosive growth of large-scale avocado farming. This water-intensive production has dried up local rivers and forced many smallholder farmers to leave the area….Meanwhile, the provincial government has to buy and deliver water to more than 6,000 people in rural communities, 20% of the province’s population, by truck. The quality of this water is not guaranteed…The root of this distribution problem lies in Chile’s Constitution and Water Code, both written in 1981 under a military dictatorship… Communities are hopeful that a new constitution will dismantle water privatisation in Chile and ensure fair distribution.
Sunday 15th August
God, whose heart is the centre of the Universe
whose being is interfused with the world
Inspire us to look on all people with love
and to flourish immersed in Agape
Forgive us when we take too much
because we can pay for it
but do not count the true cost.
Forgive us when we overlook the forgotten
because we don’t know them
but do not count their true worth.
Forgive us, so that we can begin anew
to look on all people with love
and flourish, immersed with Agape
Taken from Penny McCulloch’s prayer https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/show-the-love-prayer-2021/
Monday 16th August
A new report by WWF and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that human-wildlife conflict is the main threat to the long-term survival of some of the world’s most emblematic species. The report, A future for all – the need for human-wildlife coexistence, highlights that globally, conflict-related killing affects more than 75% of the world’s wild cat species, as well as many other terrestrial and marine carnivore species such as polar bears and Mediterranean monk seals, and large herbivores such as elephants… The report states that while it’s not possible to completely eradicate human-wildlife conflict, there are approaches that involve the full participation of local communities that can help reduce it and lead to coexistence between humans and wildlife. One success story is the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Southern Africa where communities reported that most of their livestock losses through predation by lions occurred where free-ranging, unprotected cattle roamed in the evenings and at night. The installation of fixed and mobile lion-proof corrals for night-time protection in risk-prone areas led to a 95% reduction in livestock killings in 2016, and there were zero retaliatory killings of lions in 2016 (compared to 17 killed in 2012 and 2013), allowing previously threatened lion populations to recover.
Tuesday 17th August
Pop-up shop the InConvenience Store will take ‘shoppers’ on a journey to a future without nature, showing the grim reality of what life in Wales could look like, if we fail to tackle the nature and climate crisis… Its products – like sandbags, clean air and drinking water – paint a grim picture of everyday essentials we’d need to survive if nature’s no longer helping us combat problems like pollution and flooding. A new RSPB report also launched [in early July] shows how governments could change the course of history and even unlock billions of pounds a year in public benefits. The report shows how nature is crucial to our efforts to revive our world by storing carbon, helping to prevent flooding and safeguard communities’ way of life, while creating amazing havens for wildlife that everyone can enjoy.
Wednesday 18th August
A new early warning system using satellite data to sound the alarm on growing threats to the world’s tropical forests, including worsening drought and logging, aims to stop them reaching a point of no return, scientists said [in July]. Backed by the National Geographic Society and Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex, almost 60 international scientists devised the system to track rising dangers to the planet’s rainforests, which are vital for protecting the climate and nature… The new tropical forest vulnerability index (TFVI) tracks and analyses the impact of changes in the climate and the use of land – such as clearing it for farming – on local forests, as well as how they are responding to such stress factors. The early warning system is intended to alert policymakers and conservationists of threats in good time, so they can take action to protect forests.
Thursday 19th August
Indonesia holds one-third of the world’s tropical rainforests, which are home to people and birds, leopards, rhinos, tigers, and gibbons playing among the lush canopies—and recent protections are helping these vital places thrive. Indigenous tribes, orangutans, and so many more now have a seat at the table under the stewardship of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, elected in 2014. The Widodo administration’s shepherding of land-use reforms and a reestablishing of a logging moratorium have achieved four consecutive years of declines in deforestation. This steady work culminated in 2020 when the country achieved its lowest forest-loss rates since monitoring began, totalling a 75% drop year-over-year.
Friday 20th August
Climate breakdown will stress essential food crops. Scientists and farmers in India are working together to find a solution for chickpeas…Professor Rajeev Varshney, the research program director for Accelerated Crop Improvement Program at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) [says] “In the changing climate, legume crops like chickpea have immense potential to help the marginalised.” The team at ICRISAT became the first in the world to explore the crop to find climate resilient varieties – and have found those with 10 percent higher productivity. Moreover, the varieties were developed in half the expected time, speeding up the research using advanced technology.
Saturday 21st August
To meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, California’s policymakers are relying in part on forests and shrublands to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine warn that future climate change may limit the ecosystem’s ability to perform this service. In a paper published [in July] in the American Geophysical Union journal AGU Advances, the UCI Earth system scientists stressed that rising temperatures and uncertain precipitation will cause a decrease in California’s natural carbon storage capacity of as much as 16 percent under an extreme climate projection and of nearly 9 percent under a more moderate scenario.
Sunday 22nd August
Dear Jesus, you came among us, generations ago, to show God’s love for people in all their brokenness, and so to lead them back to a right relationship with God.
As we seek to serve and follow you, we find not only broken people, but a broken world, despoiled at first in ignorance, but now in greed and wilful, headstrong, selfishness.
We come to beg your pardon for our parts in this tragedy, for rejecting your loving care in the ‘perfect planet’ you gave us, and to claim the forgiveness you offer for our parts of the shameful actions that have led us to this point.
But we are aware that accepting forgiveness marks a need to change our ways, to be more fully your people, less greedy, less selfish, more loving.
Taken from John Logan’s prayer at https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/show-the-love-prayer-2021/
Monday 23rd August
Last year, the Swiss government put forward a proposal to list a widely-used plastic additive in the Stockholm Convention, the UN’s global treaty on persistent organic pollutants…A new investigation by Unearthed [Greenpeace UK’s investigative platform] reveals that powerful lobby groups representing corporations such as BASF, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ineos, BP and Shell, are opposing the proposal arguing that there is insufficient evidence to consider the additive a persistent organic pollutant. Emails and documents obtained under transparency laws from the US Environmental Protection Agency show the American Chemistry Council and the European Chemical Industry Council raising concerns about the precedent the proposal could set.
Tuesday 24th August
[S]ub-Saharan Africa’s energy systems, … are currently patchy and often unreliable. Many countries’ reliance on fossil fuels has led policymakers to suggest that fossil fuel systems should either be banned or indirectly discouraged through imposing a carbon tax. But, given that greener forms of energy exist in tandem with fossil fuel systems across the continent, this approach might harm rather than help efforts to fight climate change…For developing countries to advance their citizens’ social and economic growth, one thing is essential: reliable electricity. These countries therefore face a dual challenge of driving the energy transition from high- to low-carbon energy and increasing electrification rates.
Wednesday 25th August
Tonight’s Green Christian workshop is the next in the series on our rules of life – Exploring the Way of Life: Public Witness with George Dow. The Green Christian Way of Life offers a framework for living more lightly on the earth and for deeper engagement and shared encouragement. It comprises a set of four disciplines, one of which, The discipline of Public Witness, entails committing to action for creation care, e.g. through active involvement in local or national projects or campaigns; giving out Green Christian leaflets; speaking out, whether to friends, at church, or in other public forums; writing or speaking to MPs or organisations. All these and more are ways of Public Witness, particularly when there is some resistance. George Dow is Green Christian Co-Chair and the Way of Life Co-ordinator.
Thursday 26th August
A new study [from Oregon State University] has found that shade provided by solar panels increased the abundance of flowers under the panels and delayed the timing of their bloom, both findings that could aid the agricultural community. The study, believed to be the first that looked at the impact of solar panels on flowering plants and insects, has important implications for solar developers who manage the land under solar panels, as well as agriculture and pollinator health advocates who are seeking land for pollinator habitat restoration. “The understudy of solar panels is typically managed to limit the growth of plants,” said Maggie Graham, a faculty research assistant at Oregon State and lead author of the paper. “My thought coming into this research was can we flip that? Why not plant under solar arrays with something beneficial to the surrounding ecosystem, like flowers that attract pollinators? Would insects even use it? This study demonstrates that the answer is yes.”
Friday 27th August
WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment, which has been signed by more than 90% of the UK’s food retailers as well as major businesses across the food value chain, has been extended to 2030, with a new ambition to halve absolute emissions. The update to the Commitment, posted today (20 July), sees 2025 targets on carbon, food waste and water built upon with longer-term goals. WRAP said in a statement that the update is designed to align the sector with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to these topics and takes account of “the newer demands of climate action”… On food waste, the 2025 commitment is to reduce food and drink waste in the UK, post farm gate and on a per-person basis, by 20%. It has a 2015 baseline. The new 2030 commitment has a 2007 baseline and entails halving waste.
Saturday 28th August
Large swathes of apparel-producing areas in Asia will be underwater by 2030, an analysis released on Friday which overlaid maps of rising sea levels onto factory locations showed, threatening thousands of suppliers with submersion unless they relocate to higher ground.
The analysis, produced by two Cornell researchers as part of a paper commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), warns that the problem of rising sea levels is receiving little attention from those leading sustainability efforts in the sector.
Sunday 29th August
We pray that during this year we may work and pray to change this world and humanity’s response to our circumstances, to accept responsibility for the gift of this planet as our home.
May we steward it effectively, so we no longer pollute it with our waste, destruct it with our insatiable appetites for more, kill it with our poisons, but nurture it for its habitats and care for it for its plants and animals.
May we tend it for its variety, its generosity, its sheer joy as your creation, and may we teach our children and grandchildren how precious is every life you are constantly creating.
Help us to ‘Show the Love’, your love for all the people of the world and for the generations to come, in Jesus’ name we pray.
Taken from John Logan’s prayer at https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/show-the-love-prayer-2021/
Monday 30th August
The European Commission boosted regulatory support for green hydrogen in its proposed overhaul of climate legislation published last week, with the renewable hydrogen coalition calling it “a true game changer” for the nascent EU industry…As part of the plans, the European Commission proposed a 50% target for “renewable fuels of non-biological origins” – essentially green hydrogen – in the share of hydrogen fuels used in European industry by 2030, whether as a feedstock or in final energy consumption. That is “a true game-changer,” according to the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition, an industry group bringing together electricity companies such as Enel, Iberdrola and Orsted as well as wind industry giants like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa.
Tuesday 31st August
Climate change talks this year aimed at keeping global warming in check need to consign coal power to history, the British president of the upcoming United Nations’ conference said on Wednesday… “I’ve been very clear that I want COP26 to be the COP where we consign coal power to history,” Alok Sharma, UK president for COP26, told journalists in an interview with Reuters and other partners of the global media consortium Covering Climate Now… One of the biggest challenges facing the UK COP26 Presidency will be to persuade countries to commit to more ambitious emissions-cut targets and to increase financing for countries most vulnerable to climate change.
Text and links compiled by Emma King. Links accessed July 25th 2021.
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