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More than 5,500 UK churches put faith in clean energy

More than 5,500 churches and cathedrals across the UK have put their faith in 100 per cent renewable power, helping divert over £5m each year from fossil fuels towards green energy providers, Christian Aid revealed today.

Thanks to a raft of group buying schemes, thousands of Church of England, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, and Salvation Army places of worship now run on renewable energy, according to the charity. The news follows the CofE's recent decision to sell its shares in fossil fuel companies which it deems are not on track to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement. As well as small parish churches, the cohort of sites running on green power includes fifteen Anglican cathedrals such as Salisbury, Bristol, Sheffield and York Minster, which are all now on 100 per cent renewable electricity tariffs through the CofE's Parish Buying procurement group.

Other schemes such as the Big Church Switch campaign - a partnership between Christian Aid, Tearfund and the CofE's environment programme - and the 2buy2 scheme to help boost energy buying power for parishes have also helped churches switch to renewables tariffs. Green power tariffs often work out cheaper than those using fossil fuels, the charity said.

Commenting on the news, the Bishop of Salisbury and CofE's lead bishop on the environment Nicholas Holtam described climate change as "one of the great moral challenges of our time". "Climate change is an enormous injustice and is hurting the poor first and worst," he said. "Switching to responsible sources of electricity may seem like a small thing on its own, but when joined together it can make a real difference." Former Archbishop of Canterbury and chair of Christian Aid Rowan Williams also joined in the praise for churches, and called on the government to set a future target for the UK to reach net zero emissions.

"Churches are part of a global network and so are often very aware of the plight of our brothers and sisters suffering from droughts, floods and extreme weather around the world," said Williams. "The UK government also claims to care for people living in poverty around the world which is why it would be good to see it commit to setting a net zero emissions target for 2050. That would be in line with the Paris Agreement and ensure Britain remains a green and pleasant land at home and a climate leader abroad."

Source: BusinessGreen 

Päivitetty/Updated: 03.08.2018




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