Christian Aid has hailed the decision by the Church of England’s General Synod to set a date of 2030 for the Church to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. The date is 15 years sooner than the date of 2045, which was was initially proposed. An amendment by Martin Gainsborough, Chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol, to move the date to 2030 was accepted and passed.
Christian Aid’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Patrick Watt, said: “No organisation on the planet should be more aggrieved by the suffering and injustice of climate change than the Church. The Church can and must have a long-term perspective that spans the generations. This is something from which governments and business can learn.
“It is hugely positive to see the Church of England placing itself at the forefront of action to address the climate emergency. As Synod recognised, this will be a challenging target to meet and the Church will need to work hard to meet it, but it will be celebrated by vulnerable people on the front lines of the climate crisis who will see an institution taking the danger seriously and responding to it. This truly is ‘good news to the poor’ as Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke.
“In this year of the UK hosting the crucial COP26 climate summit, the UK Government is being seriously challenged by bold decisions like this. Now politicians need to rise to the level of ambition set by the Church and implement policies that ensure the UK decarbonises its economy well before 2050 while also providing help to those around the world who are most affected by the climate crisis.