Net Zero Carbon

27th January 2021

The Church of England Birmingham (CofEB) is developing a strategy in response to the worldwide Climate Emergency and to focus on the CofE target of working to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030.

A new CofEB Environmental Board, led by the Bishop of Birmingham, has been formed. A Net Zero Environment Group (NZEG) has also been set up to focus specifically on the 2030 net zero carbon target, which will report to the CofEB Environment Board.

A Project Initiation Document has been created and the project split into several workstreams including: CofEB Buildings & Land, Parsonages, Parish Buildings & Land, Schools, and Transport.

The main focus for 2021 and 2022 will be to gather information on current CofEB energy usage and carbon emissions. All parishes can submit energy usage through the national Energy Footprint Tool from spring 2021. Energy Footprint Tool returns were submitted for 79 church buildings in 2020, which represents about 44% of church buildings within the Birmingham diocese. One key thing that churches can do is to switch to a renewable electricity tariff, and 32% of the churches that submitted returns have already made this switch.

31 CofEB schools fall under scope of the 2030 net zero carbon target. The Birmingham Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) has submitted a grant application for a consultant to review the current status of each school in terms of emissions and develop a plan for each school to meet the target.

With the People and Places framework, in due course the new CofEB Environment Board envisage that each deanery would appoint an Environmental Champion to liaise with parish environmental contacts or leads and spear head the net zero carbon agenda. Environmental champions would meet periodically across the six deaneries to compare progress and report to the Area Dean lead on the CofEB Environment Board.

There will be monthly updates on environmental matters in every Bulletin, so look out for more information on this topic going forward.

If you have further questions about the CofE net zero carbon project, the new CofEB Enviromental Board,  or how your church can become engaged, please contact us by email.