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Bishop John Arnold leads Catholic effort to go carbon neutral

by Kelly Valencia

The Catholic Diocese of Salford has launched an ecological project to reduce the carbon footprint of the approximately 200 parishes which are part of the diocese. 

The project will last for two years and it will aim to develop ways to count the amount of carbon dioxide being produced and introduce environmental managing tools in all parishes, schools and other parts of the diocese. 

In 2019, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales published the "Guardians of God's Creation" document, in which they pledged "to promote good practice for dioceses, parishes, schools, families and individuals" over the next decade. 

The Bishop of Salford, the Right Reverend John Arnold said the Catholic Church recognises the ecological crisis and is "keen to play its part in delivering the UK net-zero strategy". 

"We are looking to deepen our understanding of how to put a Catholic diocese on the path to carbon neutrality, and this collaborative research will tell us what needs to be done and what structures must be put in place to support this. I hope that the findings will assist organisations and institutions beyond the Church both here and abroad."

Dr Emma Gardner, head of environment at Salford Diocese, said: "We need to take urgent action today to protect our common home. This project will help provide ways to address the ecological crisis through practical solutions and positive change. The Diocese of Salford is looking forward to working with other dioceses and organisations so we can play our part together."

St Mary's University, Twickenham, and the Laudato Si' Research Institute, Oxford are supporting the project. 

In December last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to cut the UK's carbon emissions by at least 68% (relative to 1990 levels) before the end of 2030.

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