The Bishop of Norwich, who is the Church of England's Lead Bishop on the Environment, has issued the following response to the announcement by the Prime Minister on Net Zero policies:
“The Prime Minister’s Net Zero speech calls for a welcome change in the debate from loud polarised voices, but he set out delays in policy before hearing the properly informed debate he called for.
"Whilst it is right that he has kept our international commitments, postponing changes leave necessary adaptations to the last minute, rather like last-minute exam cramming—a risky gamble. Ignoring the ongoing carbon emissions exacerbates climate change's impact.
“The Prime Minister said we can meet our climate targets without taking the carbon reduction actions the Government had previously announced. We can’t. Decarbonisation must permeate every aspect of our lives.
"Failing to acknowledge the urgency undermines progress, impacting business, investment, green job creation, and global influence.
“We are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change, which is hitting the poorest people of the world hardest. We must act now to ensure a just transition, it is our moral duty to care for God’s creation.
"Christians are called to be a people of hope; to live in harmony with our world; to treasure God's creation and to love our global neighbours.”
The Church of England has established a Net Zero Carbon programme to support churches across the country in their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions as set out in the Routemap to Net Zero approved by the General Synod in 2022.
The programme will deploy funding from the Church Commissioners of £30million during 2023-25 increasing to £190million by the end of the decade, to help kickstart many local carbon-reduction schemes