Bright Now, COP26 and the just and green recovery in 2021


At this time of climate emergency, every year counts, and never has this been more the case than in 2021. As the UK prepares to host the UN climate talks (COP26) later in November, we have a crucial opportunity to make an impact and increase the pressure on institutions and governments to respond with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.

As governments make decisions on stimulus packages amounting to trillions of pounds, we must work together to ensure a just and green recovery from the pandemic, re-orientating investments towards a clean energy future.

Here at Operation Noah, we will continue to work with Churches through the Bright Now campaign to encourage divestment from fossil fuels and increased investment in climate solutions. There will be opportunities to join together and share experiences with others through webinars, key moments on divestment in various Churches and global divestment announcements that your church or faith organisation could get involved in.

Upcoming webinars on divestment

  • Methodist webinar co-sponsored by Operation Noah, Christian Aid and the Methodist Zero Carbon Group, with speakers including Bill McKibben and Mark Campanale: The Climate Emergency, COP26 and Fossil Fuel Divestment: Tuesday 16 February 2021, 7.30-9pm
  • Scottish Churches Webinar: early March 2021
  • Anglican Communion Webinar: mid-late March 2021

Global divestment announcements – spring and autumn 2021

One of the most important ways in which churches can respond to the climate crisis is by making a commitment to divest from fossil fuel companies. By joining with other organisations in a global divestment announcement, your church can increase its impact, removing the social licence from oil and gas companies to continue exploration and extraction of new fossil fuel reserves.

If you would be interested in getting your local church, regional Church structures (dioceses and equivalents) or religious order to make a divestment commitment as part of a future joint divestment announcement, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu on bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org for further information or to register your interest.

All Hallows Church, Leeds announced its divestment in the Easter Declaration for Fossil Free Churches (photo credit: Deirdre Duff)

Climate Sunday

Operation Noah is one of the founding partners of Climate Sunday, an initiative enabling and equipping all churches across the UK to hold a climate-focused service between now and September.

Each month has a particular theme, and Operation Noah is preparing the ‘Climate and Finance’ theme in February. Watch this space!

Key Church meetings in 2021

Church governing body meetings are an important opportunity to encourage your Church denomination to move forward on divestment from fossil fuels. Below are some key dates for your diary. You may wish to connect with others to discuss how you can encourage your Church to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean alternatives. Get in touch with us if you would like to find out more.

  • Baptist Union Council: 23-24 March 2021
  • Church in Wales Governing Body Meeting: 14-15 April 2021
  • Church of Scotland General Assembly: 22 May 2021
  • Scottish Episcopal Church General  Synod: 10-12 June 2021
  • Methodist Conference: 24 June – 1 July 2021

Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge

With the UN climate talks (COP26) taking place in Glasgow later this year, the response of Churches in Scotland will be especially significant.

Eco-Congregation Scotland, in partnership with Operation Noah, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth Scotland, has launched a Scottish Churches COP26 Pledge which can be signed by individuals, churches, regional Church bodies (e.g. dioceses) and national Churches. The pledge aims to demonstrate the support of the Scottish Churches for urgent climate action and the need for a just and green recovery from Covid-19.

If you are in Scotland, you can sign the pledge here.

Photo credit: Carina.m on Unsplash

Investing for a clean energy future

In 2021, we will continue to encourage Churches and Christian organisations to consider how they can respond to the climate crisis not only by divesting from fossil fuels, but also investing to generate positive environmental and social impacts. We will do this by bringing together those who have started their impact investing journey to share experiences and lessons learned.

For more information or to share the experience of your church, religious order or Christian organisation in this area, please contact Bokani Tshidzu on bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org.

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