Net Zero

The General Synod of the Church of England voted in February 2020 for the whole of the Church of England to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. The vote recognised that the global climate emergency is a crisis for God’s creation and a fundamental injustice.

For the Church of England, being net zero carbon means that the carbon emissions of their buildings and travel will be reduced to less than 10 per cent of their baseline levels. For the next few years, we will be focusing on measures that reduce the carbon footprint of our activities.  Closer to 2030, the commitment states that remaining emissions will be offset in verified schemes that reduce carbon. That means overall, Church buildings and travel will not contribute to rising carbon emissions: their contribution will be ‘net zero’.

Responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world.

In Coventry Diocese, we now have a Net Zero Carbon Project Officer.  This role encompasses encouraging church schools, the Cathedral, churches and clergy in the Diocese to reduce energy use and focus on measures that will reduce carbon emissions.  The NZC Project Officer is available to give advice within the Diocese and is making several new reference resources available.  A local Net Zero Carbon Resource Document is available on request for churches.  A schools-based document will be available shortly.  We are also planning to produce a series of Podcasts to reach a wider audience with the key messages of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

On a practical note, you may be able to borrow some equipment from the NCZ Project Officer if you are trying to assess heat loss and temperature/humidity cycles.

Here are some useful Church of England resources:  The Routemap to Net Zero Carbon. The Practical Path to Net Zerofor church buildings.  The landing pages for net zero carbon churches and net zero carbon schools, and our net zero webinar programme to help you along that path.  Our heating guidance and energy efficiency guidance.  Lastly, our inspiring case studies.

Net Zero and Church Buildings

In February 2020 General Synod passed a motion committing the Church of England to reach net zero carbon by 2030, bringing forward it's proposed target date by 15 years. To achieve this target it is clear that every church building, school and other church property will need to play its part, and as Archbishop Justin Welby clearly explains, “Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation.”

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