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Net Zero by 2030

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Feb, 2020 08:42 PM

Bishop Nicholas has spoken about the new 2030 target set by the General Synod.

Talking about the new target, which was set 15 years before the official recommendation, the Bishop said:

“We aren’t under any illusion that this will be easy. Synod’s target sets a serious challenge for the whole Church to examine urgently the steps necessary to achieve the kind of year-on-year carbon reductions we need. This is a national goal which will need more than 16,000 local plans supported by the right policies and resource.

“But the science tells us there’s no time to lose if we are to limit the warming of the planet humans are causing. The tone at Synod was overwhelmingly that Christians should respond urgently to our calling to safeguard God’s creation, and go as fast as we can.

“The measure of our intent will be how many dioceses, deaneries, parishes, cathedrals, schools, and all the bodies responsible for church property put the matter high on the agenda and review their plan regularly, with a named local lead, and engaging the whole community.”

He continued:

“A great way to begin would be to take up the #LiveLent challenge, with 40 days of prayers, reflections, and actions for adults and children, and to read the Archbishop’s Lent book, Saying Yes to Life.”

The new target was welcomed by the environmental adviser to the Archbishops’ Council, David Shreeve. He agreed with the Bishop’s view that the first job was to quantify the scale of the task:

“If I were running a cathedral or a church of any size, I’d want some guidance,” he said.

He had been trying to get the Church to take environmental awareness seriously for years:

“I’m just sad it’s taken a climate emergency to get it this high up the agenda.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m not a fan of the word ‘impossible’. It’s a great opportunity, and now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

“There is a lot of support for the Church to lead on this. We’re one of the few organisations that people can join, get together, and represent their community. If we’re going to take part and comment on international events like the COP26 climate summit, or Lambeth 2020, we have to show we mean what we say and get our own house in order. It’s great to see the Church of England leading the way.”

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