01 December 2008

Churches call for crackdown on carbon emissions through energy conservation

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have urged the Government to reduce Britain's carbon emissions following Lord Turner's report published today.

The three denominations backed the report's aim to substantially reduce carbon emissions by 2023. They called on Ministers to turn away from investment in coal-fired power stations and look towards pumping significant investment into energy conservation.

Steve Hucklesby, Methodist Policy Adviser, said: "We welcome the Government announcement of spending to provide better insulation and energy saving measures for public housing. Those on lower incomes have found the rise in fuel prices particularly difficult. But we must go much further and invest in a programme to conserve energy across the economy.

"It is difficult to see how we can invest in new coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth and still achieve the rapid decarbonisation of our economy necessary to avert climate change. Coal-fired power stations produce more carbon emissions than any other generating source. We need to begin now to work for a future in which fossil fuels will be the exception, not the rule."

The three churches also stressed that while carbon offsetting was a positive action, it would be unacceptable for Britain to use carbon credits to buy out its responsibility to reduce domestic emissions.

"Carbon offsetting is not the solution to climate change. It is right that we support the development of clean energy in developing countries, but substantially buying out our responsibility to reduce emissions in the UK would be unjust," said Steve.

The Methodist Church working with Church Action on Poverty sent out leaflets to all its churches today with information on how to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions.

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