Reducing emissions from churches

St Michael's Baddesley Clinton

Net Zero Carbon by 2030

Reducing emissions from churches

By 2030, the buildings of the Church of England will be bright and welcoming, consuming much less energy and emitting less carbon than they do now. And that will be good for the people who use the buildings, and good for the whole of creation.

So how can we reduce the emissions of churches to less than 10 per cent of baseline levels? Our Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 breaks down the journey into milestones to be completed by a particular year, taking it step by step with some easy wins now while laying the groundwork for long-term, more expensive investments that high-carbon emitting buildings will need to make after 2025.


By the end of 2023

  • 10% of local churches in every diocese to be registered with Eco Church and 5% to be awarded at least a Bronze Eco Church award.
  • Every diocese to have a 90%+ completion rate for the Energy Footprint Tool.

By the end of 2024

  • At the point of contract renewal, switch to 100% green electricity tariff. If you still have gas heating after having reviewed options to replace fossil fuels, switch to a green gas tariff at the point of contract renewal, based on national advice about the criteria to apply.

    Timing of this milestone to be kept under review, depending on stabilisation of the energy markets and / or government action.

By the end of 2025

  • All churches to have energy-efficient lighting installed throughout, with timers and light and motion sensors where appropriate.
  • No new oil boilers installed in churches after this date, subject to government action to connect rural communities to the grid.
  • For those churches that are tourist destinations, review opportunities to install electric charging for coaches.

By the end of 2026

  • 40% of local churches in every diocese to be registered with Eco Church, 30% of these to have an award and at least a third of these to be awarded Silver Eco Church award or higher.

By the end of 2027

  • From 2022, the top 20% of energy-consuming churches in each diocese to begin to develop a Net Zero Carbon Action Plan, to be finalised no later than 2027. These plans should include, as a minimum:
    • low-carbon heating options to replace fossil-fuel heating at end-of-life, such as heat pumps or far infra-red heating panels
    • a Heating Resilience Plan which should consider how to manage heat should the existing system fail, to avoid needing a quick like-for-like fossil-fuel replacement

By the end of 2030

  • Complete all actions in your Net Zero Carbon Action Plan.
Chedworth St Andrew church


For the Church of England, being net zero carbon means that the carbon emissions of our buildings and travel will be reduced to less than 10 per cent of our baseline levels. The remaining emissions will be offset in verified schemes that reduce carbon. That means overall, our buildings and travel will not contribute to rising carbon emissions: their contribution will be ‘net zero’.

Responding to the climate crisis is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation and achieve a just world.

Climate change hits hardest on the poorest countries and poorest people of the world. Meanwhile, the widespread destruction of the natural world is a crisis for creation.

Tackling climate change also supports our local mission. It witnesses to our communities that we are people who care about climate justice, now and for the future. Also, many of the steps needed to reduce energy use will make our buildings warmer and more welcoming, so they are suitable to be used more often by more people, and can save us money on our running costs

To find out more about the background to the Routemap, other actions that you could consider, and the support that is available to you, please download the Resources document by clicking on the link below.

Download the Resource for Churches

Tackling our carbon emissions

More resources