Synod to consider plans for net zero carbon Church by 2030


Plans to help the Church of England’s 16,000 local churches and 4,500 schools reach carbon net zero by the end of the decade will be considered by General Synod. 

The Church of England Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 was drawn up following a widespread consultation with parishes, dioceses, cathedrals, and the wider Church following an historic vote at General Synod in February 2020.

Synod will debate the plans and consider them for approval at its meeting in York next month.

Practical advice and success stories from churches and schools across England will be shared in a series of short films.

A series of videos highlight exceptional projects from across the country, ranging from heat pumps in rural Cumbria to solar panels in central London.

They also include net zero carbon schools like St Andrew’s School, Chedworth, Gloucestershire, which has installed solar panels and an air-source heat pump, and Newcastle Cathedral which has installed a new, sustainable, heating system.

The challenge laid down by Synod to achieve carbon net zero by 2030 covers all parts of the Church of England and the routemap covers local churches, cathedrals, schools, clergy housing, diocesan and national offices.

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment, said: “There is no question that achieving net zero carbon by 2030 is an almighty challenge.

“But this detailed routemap, that has been developed in partnership across the whole Church, sets out a practical and pragmatic way to making this a reality.

“I am aware of the scale of the challenges, but Synod’s historic decision two years ago to aim for 2030 certainly made us focus our attention on this crucial decade for the planet.

“I want to approach this with a hope-filled realism that we can achieve this together.”

The full scope and definition of carbon net zero was agreed by Synod, a consultation took place earlier this year and expert advice sought throughout the process of writing the Routemap.

While it is not legislative and does not obligate any part of the Church, subject to its approval by Synod, the Routemap will form the basis of the road to net zero carbon by 2030.