29 June 2010

Church adopts carbon reduction policy

The Methodist Church signed up to a series of carbon reduction commitments at its annual Conference today.

The Conference, meeting in Portsmouth's Guildhall, confirmed a pledge to reduce Church's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 in line with Government targets after adopting resolutions set out in a carbon reduction report.

The Methodist Church in Britain has a carbon footprint of around 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum for approximately 8,000 of its buildings. The annual energy bill to the Church and individual ministers is about £19 million a year. Cutting the carbon footprint has the potential to free up money that can be used for mission.

From now on, Methodist Circuits will be asked to provide smart meter devices to enable ministers to control their electricity use. Circuits will also be encouraged to fund Government sponsored smart driver training for presbyters, deacons and lay employees where appropriate.

The Church also plans to launch a carbon reduction service, which will save money through bulk energy purchases. The money saved can then be used to fund further energy reduction purchases, leaving churches with a smaller carbon footprint and lower energy bills.

Triumph Ayo-Isegun, Projects Officer, said: "The proposals agreed today are only the first step for the Methodist Church. It will be a long journey with massive challenges but we are very optimistic that the Methodist people will rise to these."

The Conference also directed Circuits to endeavour to use model trust money to put high standards of energy efficiency in place. Methodist Standing Orders will be amended so that energy performance and energy efficiency requirements become mandatory for Church buildings and manses. All local Methodist churches will be asked to sign up to the Hope in God's Future pledge now that Conference has adopted the report.

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