Bishop welcomes Government’s commitment to “net zero” emissions by 2050


The Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment has welcomed the news that the government has set a stricter target on climate change. The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury said: “This announcement is very welcome, and the UK is setting an example by making this commitment to address the global climate emergency."

“But commitment alone is meaningless unless it is backed up by relentless action, which must remain our priority in the coming decades.

"If we are to achieve Net Zero the government’s response to the recent recommendations from the Climate Change Committee will be crucial."

The government says that by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut to almost zero, making the UK the first major nation to give itself such a goal.

Currently, the official target is a reduction of 80% by that date. The new aim - known as "net zero" - means emissions from homes, farming, industry and transport will have to be cut to nothing, or offset by planting more trees or sucking CO2 from the atmosphere.

“Christians and people of all faiths have long called for action on climate change both to preserve the natural world on which we all rely, and to protect God’s creation for generations to come," continued Bishop Nicholas, who previously called for a net zero commitment in 2018, and spoke on the subject in the House of Lords last month.

“Climate change affects us all, but the world’s poorest are most vulnerable to extreme weather events and the least able to cope with the impact.

“Christians will continue to press for action to deal with these threats.

“Ours is the first generation to know the full scale of the risks posed by climate change and could be the last able to do anything meaningful about it.

“That is why committing to end our contribution to climate change here in the UK is so important."