The Church of England has renewed its commitment to reaching carbon net zero by the end of the decade by signing up to a new scheme run by a Christian charity.
All 42 dioceses have pledged to become “eco dioceses” as part of A Rocha UK's awards initiative. The scheme awards churches and dioceses bronze, silver or gold status, based on their actions to improve their environmental footprint.
The Church of England's lead Bishop for the environment, the Right Reverend Graham Usher said:
“Having every diocese sign up is a statement of intent from all of us as we take seriously the need to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss today.
“A Rocha UK's Eco Church and Diocese scheme is a great tool which enables local churches at every level of their climate justice journey to engage with environmental issues.
“We know that climate change and biodiversity loss impact us all - especially the world’s poorest countries.
“As Christians, we must make real differences to our lives to care for God’s creation and limit the impact of the climate emergency.
“This is why it is imperative that we reach net zero carbon across the Church of England by the end of the decade.
“The whole Church is currently looking at our proposed Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and I would encourage everyone to read it and engage with the survey so we can make the journey to net zero carbon together.”
Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager at A Rocha UK, said: “At the start of 2022, we all know the scale of the challenges we face to avert catastrophic climate change and the loss of nature - and what’s needed to avert this.
“The steps taken by the Dioceses of the Church of England reflect a united commitment to encourage grassroots action at a parish level.
“As each diocese progresses through the Eco Diocese scheme more churches will become Eco Churches, a growing church community which cares for creation across all aspects of life; commits dioceses to action towards net zero carbon emissions; and incorporates creation care into ongoing ministerial training.
“We commend all of the dioceses for making this commitment and look forward to many more award applications as they continue to take action.”