Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN) reps
As the BUEN reps for Webnet, Kevin and Ros Durrant are available to support ministers and churches in their ongoing engagement with creation care. Kevin recently spoke on “Going Green in the Local Church” at a Lent meeting for the Wotton-under-Edge Churches Together. He continues to send out his book Courting Chaos to any who would like to explore how the ministry of Jeremiah can throw light on our current ecological crisis. Kevin and Ros would encourage any fellowships not yet registered for the Eco-Church process to do so (there’s a useful sign-up tutorial under FAQ).https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/
Webnet to pilot eco-association accreditation
Arocha UK already has systems in place for Anglican dioceses and Methodist circuits to work towards awards which recognise the environmental actions they are taking themselves and are promoting among their churches. Webnet is hoping to trial a similar scheme for Baptist associations/networks and, to begin this process, a draft environmental policy and action plan will be presented to the next Webnet trustees meeting. Webnet currently has 21 churches registered with Arocha, up from 13 last year. This is only about 17% of all the Webnet churches; so, room for growth!
BU Assembly 14-15 May 2022
BUEN had an exhibition at the BU assembly, which included an audio reflection focused on large nature photograph banners.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report
In early April 2022, the IPCC published the second part of its latest assessment report on the impact of climate change. Based on the work of hundreds of leading scientists, it warned that a litany of broken promises has brought the world to a “now or never” moment in the drive to keep the rise in average global temperatures below 1.5C. Sadly, news of this report’s publication, with its call for a new sense of urgency, was somewhat overshadowed in the UK by the “Partygate” scandal. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/
COP 15 – biodiversity
This conference, delayed two years by covid, was meant to have taken place in Kunming, China, in April 2022, but has now been deferred to 28 August – 9 September 2022. Given China’s zero-tolerance covid policy, it might yet be deferred again. This is bad news for the planet’s biodiversity as none of the goals set in 2010 for 2020 were fully met, and we currently have no targets for stemming the loss of species and habitats. Difficult negotiations are currently taking place in working groups in the hope that new goals can be agreed at the future conference (for example the “30 by 30” plan – to set apart 30% of the earth’s land and seas as protected areas by 2030), but progress is slow. There is a useful 15-minute podcast that summarises the situation: https://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2022/mar/29/cop15-is-2022-the-year-we-save-biodiversity