18 Feb 2022

Eco Diocese: Net Zero target


Archdeacon David Waller and Mags Bird of the Diocese in Europe Net Zero Working Group share this story with us:

Many of us rejoiced at the ambitious ‘net zero 2030’ target agreed by General Synod in 2020, convinced that faith in action involves playing our part in tackling the climate crisis.  No one is under any illusion that it is going to be easy to achieve the change required, amidst all the other challenges facing our communities, congregations and chaplaincies, and in a Diocese which is unique in its diversity and scale. But the issue is crucial and we are stepping up to play our part. 

In December 2021, Diocesan Synod adopted a motion to devise and promote a programme of activity within Europe in line with the General Synod’s net-zero-by-2030 pledge.  The Diocese Net Zero Working Group will lead the development of this programme, to be discussed by the June 2022 Synod. The aim will be to provide a clear framework for measuring and reducing carbon footprints related to our churches and activity, and to provide access to tools and support to enable chaplaincies and archdeaconries to make realistic and effective carbon reduction efforts. 

The work will draw upon the overall Church of England Routemap to Net Zero which is currently under consultation.  The routemap focuses in particular energy use in church buildings and work-related travel as key agreed areas of the CofE 2030 net zero scope.  The Net Zero Working Group and the Office will contribute to the consultation on behalf of the Diocese.  

Individual chaplaincies are also welcome to review the draft national route map and offer their views to the consultation process (deadline 28 February).  Please copy inputs (and any other thoughts on the path to net zero) to David Waller, chair of the Diocese Net Zero Working Group, so that the group can integrate feedback into their ongoing plans for the Diocese. 

The full wording of 2020 General Synod motion can be found here.

Motion passed by Diocesan Synod reads as follows: 

"This Synod pledges to devise and promote a programme of activity across the Diocese so that the Diocese in Europe is in line with the General Synod’s pledge 'to work to achieve year-on-year reductions in emissions and urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero emissions by 2030'.  This work to be led by the Net Carbon Neutral Working Group and reported to Diocesan Synod in June 2022".

The route map consultation document is here.