What are UK Methodists doing to be greener?
In August 2012 I was to attend the European Christian Environment Network Assembly (the 9th Assembly) in Elspeet, Netherlands. I am a Methodist so was keen to findout what aspects of Care for the Earth the UK Methodist Church has been involved with recently. I asked Steve Hucklesby, Secretary for International Affairs at The Methodist Church. Here is his reply:-
1. The Methodist Church has launched an Eco-Circuit and Eco-District award scheme managed by Eco-Congregation.
2. We have a benchmarking scheme for measuring energy efficiency of church buildings.
3. Sixty five Methodist Churches have installed solar power. Meanwhile there is guidance that we have produced for churches on solar power. http://www.methodist.org.uk/media/457787/solar-panels-guidance-0612.pdf
4. The President of the Methodist Church has supported the Ash Wednesday Declaration.
5. The UK Government is currently implementing the most far-reaching reform of UK energy markets for over a decade. The draft Energy Bill looks set to usher in a new dash for gas and misses the opportunity to provide greater certainty for investors in renewable. Methodist Church is calling on the UK government to
- Demonstrate its commitment to renewables and ensure that build an power infrastructure that provides at least 60% of our electricity from renewables by 2030 – providing green jobs and a reliable and clean source of power. and
- To introduce a power sector decarbonisation target into the Energy Bill. I attach a draft of a briefing which is going to design people today for launch in a couple of weeks.
6. A link with an energy procurement agency 2buy2 enables Methodist Churches to get electricity and gas at a discounted rate. We are encouraging churches to spend money saved on energy efficiency measures. This scheme will also enable churches to measure their energy consumption. http://www.methodist.org.uk/mission/climate-change/carbon-reduction/energy-buying This has been piloted in Newcastle District and is now almost ready to roll-out more widely.
7. Districts and circuits are responding to Hope in God’s Future. (Ed: this is a booklet which cna also be used as one or two workshops) They are encouraged to appoint Carbon Reduction Champion and the Terms of Reference for the Northamptonshire district Carbon Reduction Champion is offered as an example.