Thousands of UK churches switch to renewables
More than 5,500 churches across the UK have put their faith in 100% renewable electricity, diverting over £5m away from fossil fuels to clean energy providers, Christian Aid revealed today.
Church of England, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Salvation Army places of worship have all “seen the light” by making the switch, according to the charity.
Fifteen Anglican cathedrals are among those now using 100% green electricity tariffs, with former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, welcoming today’s news.
“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,” he said.
“The government also claims to care for people living in poverty, 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.”
Christian Aid said the number of cathedrals now running on 100% renewable electricity was largely thanks to the Church of England’s procurement group Parish Buying.
Others have turned to renewables through the Big Church Switch campaign, which pools the combined buying power of parishes to negotiate the cheapest possible tariff, with green energy often least expensive.
This comes after the Church of England announced last month that it would divest £12bn in funds away from companies that do not align themselves with the Paris Agreement.
The church’s lead bishop on the environment, Nicholas Holtam, said climate change was one of the “great moral challenges of our time”, and that it was encouraging to see more making the switch to renewables.
“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.”
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM