Youth Assembly urges action on climate change

A call for the Church to partially divest from fossil fuels has been made by the National Youth Assembly at its gathering over the weekend. Partial divestment would involve looking carefully at any investments the church is making in oil and gas industries and deciding which of those investments are in line with the Church's ethical perspective on climate change.

In a vote yesterday, Sunday 16th August, 52 youth delegates voted for divestment, with slightly more backing partial divestment than for full divestment. After a full afternoon spent discussing the impact of climate change with an expert panel, 27 delegates voted for partial divestment, 25 for total divestment, 7 voted against divestment and 13 abstained.

The Youth Assembly heard from a panel made up of: John Sturrock of the 2020 Climate group; Tom Ballantine of Climate Chaos Scotland; Jon Cape, an entrepreneur and CEO of iPower; Valerie Brown of Christian Aid who is vice convener of the World Mission Council; Rev Sally Foster Fulton, Convener of the Church and Society Council; and Calum Scott a youth delegate and exploration geologist who has worked in the oil industry.

Discussion ranged from the impact of climate change on the poorest nations in the world to the role of nuclear and renewable energy. Delegates also discussed jobs and having plans to deal with the transition to a sustainable energy system. Many delegates also made individual pledges to reduce their own consumption of energy.

You can find out more about the National Youth Assembly, and see images from the weekend at their Facebook page