By Pat Ashworth
The Church in Wales will be launching the Energy Footprint Tool during its Governing Body meeting in Llandudno April 19-20. The tool is an online calculator designed to help churches to estimate their annual carbon generation.
By entering their utility bills on the tool, churches can find out their carbon footprint, based on the energy used to heat and light their buildings, and thus work to reduce it. The tool was developed in the Church of England, after a General Synod vote in February 2020 to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 (News, 14 February 2020). The first milestone for its churches in 2023 was to start using the tool if they had not done so already (News, 3 September 2020).
Five thousand churches in England entered their information last year, yielding an estimate that the carbon footprint for church buildings was about 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2021.
The Church in Wales has the same commitment to reaching net zero by the end of the decade. “God’s Earth is crying out for our care,” its statement of commitment says, “and if we do not urgently limit greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of species we will permanently disfigure our common
home, preventing billions of God’s children from flourishing.
“The Church in Wales recognises responsible stewardship of creation is integral to Christian discipleship and, given the urgency of the situation, commit to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to zero as quickly as practically possible, embedding care for the natural world into all aspect of church life from worship and teaching to the sustainable management of buildings, land, and financial resources.”
The tool will be demonstrated by Dr Julia Edwards, a climate-change champion, on April 20.