Churches call for crackdown on carbon emissions through energy conservation

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and theUnited Reformed Church have urged the Government to reduceBritain's carbon emissions following Lord Turner's report publishedtoday.

The three denominations backed the report's aim to substantiallyreduce carbon emissions by 2023. They called on Ministers to turnaway from investment in coal-fired power stations and look towardspumping significant investment into energy conservation.

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

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

The three churches also stressed that while carbon offsetting was apositive action, it would be unacceptable for Britain to use carboncredits to buy out its responsibility to reduce domesticemissions.

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

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