The Eco Dioceses scheme, developed by the charity A Rocha UK, sees churches and dioceses awarded bronze, silver, or gold status depending on actions taken to improve their environmental footprint.
The Church of England is seeking to reach "net zero" carbon by 2030 to meet a target set by General Synod in 2020.
Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich and lead bishop for the environment, said: “Having every diocese sign up is a statement of intent from all of us as we take seriously the need to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss today.
“A Rocha UK's Eco Church and Diocese scheme is a great tool which enables local churches at every level of their climate justice journey to engage with environmental issues.
“We know that climate change and biodiversity loss impact us all - especially the world’s poorest countries.
“As Christians, we must make real differences to our lives to care for God’s creation and limit the impact of the climate emergency.
“This is why it is imperative that we reach net zero carbon across the Church of England by the end of the decade.
“The whole Church is currently looking at our proposed Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and I would encourage everyone to read it and engage with the survey so we can make the journey to net zero carbon together.”
Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager at A Rocha UK, said: “At the start of 2022, we all know the scale of the challenges we face to avert catastrophic climate change and the loss of nature - and what’s needed to avert this.
“The steps taken by the Dioceses of the Church of England reflect a united commitment to encourage grassroots action at a parish level.
“As each diocese progresses through the Eco Diocese scheme more churches will become Eco Churches, a growing church community which cares for creation across all aspects of life; commits dioceses to action towards net zero carbon emissions; and incorporates creation care into ongoing ministerial training.
“We commend all of the dioceses for making this commitment and look forward to many more award applications as they continue to take action.”
- Images can be arranged by contacting A Rocha UK’s press officer Tamsin Morris on on 020 857 45935 ext: 9006 or [email protected]
- A Rocha UK is a Christian charity undertaking practical nature conservation and education with local communities and equipping others to care for the environment. Their main mission is to mobilise UK Christians and churches to care for the environment.
- A Rocha UK is part of a worldwide family of A Rocha organisations and works collaboratively with others who share the passion for the planet and our desire for its flourishing.
- Eco Church is a free online award scheme and is an A Rocha UK project. It is an award scheme in England and Wales for churches. At a practical level the Eco Church scheme encourages churches to reduce energy use; protect open space and valuable natural habitats; reduce churches’ contributions to global warming; keep churches safe and healthy; lessen pressure on the local water supply and reduce run-off into local waterways.
- Launched in 2016, 22 churches have achieved a Gold level Eco Church award including Quaker, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed and Anglican churches. Churches can do so by registering and completing a simple survey.