The Church of Scotland has welcomed a historic new international agreement to tackle climate change.
The Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council, hailed the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France which saw 195 nations approve a pact.
The agreement sets a new international context for nations’ use of fossil fuels and action on climate change, including limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Ms Foster-Fulton said: “Today is a good day for our planet and for all of God’s creation.
“We can look our children and our grandchildren in the eye and tell them that they – and their families – have a future.
“Congratulations to the United Nations, the French government and to delegates from all over the world, including the United Kingdom who have worked so hard to achieve a positive and legally binding agreement.
“Now the next stage begins: to live up to, and go beyond, the commitments made in Paris.
“That is our shared responsibility, not just that of our governments.”
Ms Foster-Fulton, along with other representatives of the Church of Scotland and Eco-Congregation Scotland, was in Paris for the start of the COP21 two weeks ago
“Churches, and the wider faith community, have become increasingly active in the struggle for change,” she said.’
“Pilgrims representing the ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 organisations and churches organisations gathered in Paris from across the world and presented a petition with over 1.8 million signatories on it to the conference organisers.
“Many of those signatures came from Scotland, gathered as our eco-baton has travelled the length and breadth of the country over the last six months encouraging people to speak out for climate justice.
“The Church of Scotland is committed to work with partners in Scotland and around the world.”
The Conference of European Churches said the deal would combat climate change and advance ecological justice.
General Secretary Guy Liagre said: “We welcome this agreement as a signal of hope, and as significant recognition of the necessity of global and common action.”
Peter Pavlovic, secretary of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN), underscored that although the agreement is important, it must be viewed as an invitation to further action.;
“The significant work of implementation lies ahead,” he added.
“We must believe that the good intentions of the text will be honoured.”
• Full story at the Church of Scotland.