Church of England: Carbon Emissions

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 12 April 2024.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to help achieve net zero.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church Commissioners are committed to reducing the carbon intensity of their portfolio by 2025 and, as a member of the Asset Owners Alliance, reaching ‘Net Zero’ in the investment portfolio by 2050.

The General Synod has set a target for the Church of England to become Net Zero by 2030. The National Church Institutions are supporting every diocese with a grant to grow capacity and employ staff to manage the work of achieving this net zero ambition. The Church Commissioners have committed funding of £30m for 2023-25 and £190m total for a 9-year programme from 2023-31.

Stage one will explore the best ways to decarbonise the diverse range of buildings and navigate planning and governance structures. The project will assess cathedrals and clergy housing, with demonstration churches that can act as showpieces of what is possible. There will be a special grant available from dioceses to enable churches to fund improvements to their energy efficiency.

A second workstream supports schools in accessing public sector decarbonisation funds, and another stream of grants will match local fundraising in churches for net-zero carbon projects through the Buildings for Mission scheme

This will provide a clear picture of the kinds of projects that are effective in reducing emissions, ready for a scaled-up investment in the second 3-year period

Recent success stories include York Minster and the Chapel at Kings College, Cambridge, which have joined many other major churches and cathedrals across the country in installing new solar panels and renewable technologies, reducing their running costs and making them more sustainable buildings.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No1 person thinks not

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