STIRLING Methodist Church has started a regular dialogue with Stirling’s MP, Stephen Kerr on the challenge posed by the new national climate targets.

Meeting for an hour after a church service, Stephen stressed the need for wider public discussion on the new ways to think and act which will be needed by both Government and individuals to meet the new ‘net zero’ climate targets.

The Church’s Green Team urged Stephen to support new tougher climate targets and actions over both short and long term to address the climate emergency.

Members of Friends of the Earth, Transition Stirling, 10:10 and Extinction Rebellion joined the discussion. It was agreed that this was not a ‘one-off’ but the start of a regular dialogue.

The discussion covered personal actions as well as public policy and Stephen took up the Church’s Project Plant Power challenge which involves trying out a new plant-based meal once a week as a step towards reducing the climate impact of our food.

The church will also be providing Stephen with information about offsetting of the carbon impact of air flights.

Discussion on public policy ranged through energy, food, transport and trade – and the risk of reaching ‘tipping points’ if we act too slowly.

Stephen will be following up and responding to the detailed policy points raised in the meeting, which include the actions called for nationally by the Climate Coalition.

Stephen Kerr said: “Coming from a Christian tradition myself, I am keenly aware of our responsibility for stewardship of the Earth. We owe it to each other to bring about a wider conversation in the community on what our new net zero targets will mean.”

Jon Cape from Stirling Methodist Church welcomed Stephen’s willingness to continue and widen the dialogue and said: “As an EcoCongregation, part of our role is to engage our local community on climate change.

"We will continue the dialogue with Stephen and separately, we will be seeking dialogue with other local political leaders.”

Stephen also agreed to meet local members of the 10:10 Climate Action group later this month.