The Diocesan Environmental Policy

Background

  • Scripture tells us that “The earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24) and that we are created with the earth and as part of the cosmos (Genesis 1);
  • Our salvation in Christ is tied up with the salvation of the whole of creation (Romans 8);
  • The Anglican Communion’s fifth mark of mission calls us “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”;
  • The Lambeth Declaration 2015 reminds us of the urgent need to address climate change, a problem created by the rich nations, but experienced more damagingly in poorer nations;
  • Together, humanity must care for its common home (Laudato si’ 2015).

Commitments

Diocesan Synod commits to playing its part fully in caring for the environment in respect of those activities for which it is responsible.  Diocesan Synod invites the deaneries, parishes and individual Anglicans in the diocese to make similar commitments.  Through the Bishop’s Council, the Birmingham Diocesan Board of Finance and the Birmingham Diocesan Board of Education, Birmingham Diocesan Synod commits:

  • to reduce carbon emissions, as envisaged in the 2015 Paris Agreement and in the UK Climate Change Act 2008, by 80% by 2050;
  • to ensure that the environment is properly considered in investment decisions and in the maintenance of buildings under its control, such as parsonages, church schools and other buildings;
  • to encourage the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches to ensure that the environment is properly considered in the maintenance and development of churches and churchyards;
  • together with others, to engage with issues such as litter, air pollution, travel arrangements and green public spaces to improve the environment in places where we are engaged.

Implementation

  • The Bishops show leadership on the environment, helped by the Bishop’s Adviser for the Environment;
  • We pray for the environment through “Praying Together”;
  • We support the Church of England’s national environmental programme;
  • We seek Eco Diocese accreditation.  We use the Eco Diocese and Eco Church framework as the main basis for our practical actions on environmental issues.  We encourage our parishes to use the advice and resources available from A Rocha UK and to seek Eco Church accreditations.  We are supported in this by the voluntary group Birmingham Anglican Climate Action (BACA).

Approved by the Birmingham Diocesan Synod on Saturday 24th March 2018

This needs to be supplemented by the Diocesan Synod’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency on Saturday 16th November 2019 (see under “Climate Emergency and the C of E”).