Rebuilding Green

Rebuilding Green: Can we turn this crisis into an opportunity for the climate?

Over the last months, our lives have been turned upside-down by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has furthermore brought distress and grief to many. Yet there have also been positive outcomes, both small scale – such as acts of kindness between neighbours – and large scale. The Eco-congregation Group has been discussing the heartening news that worldwide carbon production has dropped by 6-8% during these months, and asking whether the current crisis offers an opportunity to address the even more serious challenge of the climate emergency.

Everybody is wondering what ‘the new normal’ will look like, and many voices are arguing that society cannot go back to how things were before but instead must ‘rebuild green.’ It is more important than ever for government and corporations to develop policies and actions that are sustainable: it is necessary to find the right balance between economic viability, social justice and environmental protection.

Government and corporations must act, but so too must individuals. What does this mean for us as members of St Mary’s Cathedral, a registered Eco-congregation?

We believe that we are called to live sustainably, protecting God’s creation and the people worldwide affected by the climate emergency.

We know that living sustainably can be positive, enjoyable and life-affirming.

We believe that, as individuals, we should make serious and increasing efforts to reduce our contribution to the climate emergency, for example by

  • Confining our purchases to what we need and recycling what we can
  • Walking and using public transport in preference to cars and aeroplanes
  • Minimising waste, including unnecessary plastic and packaging
  • Wearing warmer clothes indoors and reducing use of heating
  • Buying food and other products from more local and sustainable sources
  • Buying less meat and other animal products
  • Supporting companies that promote similar principles
  • Encouraging family, friends and acquaintances to do likewise

Some of these actions have been foisted on us during the pandemic, so we should take care to continue them as the lockdown eases rather than reacting to restored freedom with increased consumerism or travel. Further, we should live as sustainably as we can, not just when we are compelled to do so, or when specific cost-and-benefit calculations show it to be necessary, but as an expression of our love and respect for God’s created world.

The Eco-congregation Group
July 2020