In July 2022, General Assembly adopted an updated Environmental Policy in response to the urgency of the climate emergency. The focus of the policy is on reducing carbon emissions across the whole of church life, with the aim of reaching net zero emissions of green house gases by 2030.
This is an ambitious target, but there are actions that nearly all churches can take to reduce their carbon footprint. The Synod Environmental Steering Group (Jason Askew, Judy Harris and Eileen Newington) has produced a short and accessible guide to help churches identify the key steps and actions they can take, immediately and in the longer term.
The most significant contributors to the URC’s carbon footprint are buildings, energy use, travel and how investments are used. It would have a huge impact if all churches switched to renewable energy and every congregation registered as an Eco Church and began working towards an award.
A colourful and helpful video has been produced by the Church and Society team to introduce the new Environmental Policy across the URC. The video is designed to help churches consider how to begin putting the new policy into practice, and it may be a useful way of introducing the environmental policy and the Eco Church award scheme to your congregation.
Churches are also encouraged to refer to the 50th anniversary eco boxes and to continue to use them as a resource from year to year. Perhaps each month’s page could go in the church newsletter and the activities could be shared with Junior Church leaders. All the months are on the Synod website and can be downloaded individually.
Please take a look at the Reaching Net Zero guidance sheet for suggested actions and do what you can, and what is appropriate for your church, to reduce your carbon footprint. Every step is a step in the right direction and our momentum will grow as we act together as churches and individuals.
Please contact Eileen Newington, Synod Green Advocate, with any questions, news or ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org