THE CHURCH POWERS CHANGE AS IT VOTES FOR A NEW, MORE IMMEDIATE TARGET
The Church of England has called the climate change 'a crisis for God's creation' and voted for church de-carbonisation by 2030, giving them just 10 years to get their houses/churches in order.
At the churches' national assembly (General Synod) February 2020 meeting, its top decision makers agreed to draw up a radical action plan to slash emissions across its cathedrals, parishes, dioceses and educational institutions. A proposal to reject the recommended target of 2045 was made by Canon Professor Martin Gainsborough on behalf of the Bristol Diocese, who said that the serious of the situation facing the Earth, especially across the world, could not be overstated and the church needed to rethink its spirituality on creation. Many others, who felt the same, joined a Christian Climate Action vigil outside the Synod the morning of the debate.
Whilst the Right Revd Nicholas Holtham, (The Bishop of Salisbury and the C of E's lead bishop on the environment) was initially worried that this target might cause resentment, following the debate he hailed the "ambitious" target to address the climate crisis, and praised members of the Synod for moving to "safeguard God's creation". The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, who agued in favour of the amendment, later tweeted "Bishop Nick underlines the seriousness and engagement needed to achieve the net-zero 2030 target we have set ourselves. All we need to do now is work, hard and consistently, together."
The motion states that the Church's Environment Working Group and National Church Institutions, as well as every Diocesan Synod and cathedral body, must provide updates on progress towards the net zero goal every three years.
The news follows last months announcement (see previous NatureBible news story) by the Church of England to align its entire investment portfolio, comprising around £12bn of assets, pledging to fully decarbonise their investment by 2050. Earlier this month the Church of England launched its first ever Green Lent (#LiveLent) Campaign for 2020, featuring 40 days of prayers and actions to encourage care for God's Creation.
On the same day as the General Synod decision, BP declared that it's aiming to reach net zero for its operations and production by 2050.