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Church in Wales publishes net-zero guide

17 February 2023

Ten-point plan encourages churches to take small steps towards bigger initiatives


Harebells at St Michael’s, Landre, in Wales

Harebells at St Michael’s, Landre, in Wales

A TEN-POINT plan to help churches to move towards the target of net zero greenhouse-gas emissions has been published by the Church in Wales as part of its “net zero by 2030” strategy. The guide encourages churches to take small steps and work towards bigger initiatives.

The climate change champion for the Church in Wales, Dr Julia Edwards, says that the guide will help churches to undertake a daunting task.

She said: “We have a bold and ambitious target to reach, and, as with all major endeavours, it will be easier when you break it down into smaller steps. This guide will help churches start with quick wins and build up to bigger and more ambitious initiatives.”

Early steps include setting up an eco group, registering with A Rocha Eco Church, and using the Energy Footprint Tool to calculate a church’s carbon emissions.

Later steps are establishing a rota for routine maintenance and repair, to prevent heat loss and damp penetration; and drawing up a heating strategy for moving away from oil and gas.

The last point advises churches to look into offsetting remaining emissions, either through schemes run by Climate Stewards, or rewilding church grounds to help capture carbon. “Above all, drive action and always aim to show that net zero targets are about real-world changes, not just well-meaning rhetoric,” the guide says.

The head of property for the Church in Wales, Alex Glanville, said that churches had responded positively to the ambitious 2030 target. All dioceses were registered with the A Rocha Echo diocesan scheme, and many churches had been gaining awards.

“A cultural shift in the way we plan and organise our lives is starting to take place so that environmental issues are now key considerations.”

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