TURNING AMBITION INTO ACTION
General Synod affirmed in 2020 that the Scottish Episcopal Church should commit to working towards Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Church in Society Technical Committee produced 10 points of guidance in 2021 to set the direction for practical action at Provincial, Diocesan, Church, and individual level. Thanks are due to the Committee for all the work they have done on this in the last year.
On 15 February 2023, a consultation for the forthcoming Net Zero Action Plan (2023-2030) will be launched. This is an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of our church’s environmental sustainability plans. This live stream event, hosted by the Rt Rev Ian Paton and consultant Robert Woodford, will provide you with an overview of the proposed plan, including the values and principles that underpin it, its core objectives, and how you and your church can take action to address the climate emergency. You can read more and sign up here.
What is Net Zero?
This recorded webinar gives an overview of Net Zero and how the Scottish Episcopal Church intends to use this concept to take urgent, effective and measurable action to address the climate emergency. By watching this video you will gain an understanding of what Net Zero is, how it compares to Carbon Neutral as well as delve into the eight building blocks that are being used to create a robust, legitimate and transparent Net-Zero Action Plan. You will also find out about the consultation process that will occur early next year, how they can get involved and ask questions.
Toolkit and Checklist
The first step in the Net Zero process was to produce a Toolkit and Checklist, embracing the 10 points of guidance. It includes the Energy Footprint Analyser (EFA), enabling churches to calculate the carbon emissions associated with the energy usage in their buildings as well as create a baseline from which future emissions can be tracked. PEG are asking that the data collected by churches is shared with the SEC in order to collectively monitor the progress being made to deliver on the goal of reaching net-zero by 2030.
The Towards Net Zero 2030 Provincial Toolkit and Checklist can be downloaded as a PDF here. This takes the form of a checklist table, which users are invited to complete to help understand where action has taken place and what action should be prioritised. It also provides links and resources which people find helpful. In addition, an editable standalone version of the checklist can be downloaded here to facilitate digital data entry.
All churches are encouraged to engage with the toolkit and liaise with their contacts in their Diocesan Climate Change Groups.
The Toolkit itself will evolve and develop as new resources are added and collective action takes place. It is intended that there will be consultation on policies and processes that may be developed. If you have any ideas or suggestions to contribute, or case studies that you could share then please get in touch with PEG at email@example.com.
In February 2022, the Provincial Environment Group released the Energy Footprint Analyser (EFA). This powerful, easy to use tool enabled each church to calculate the carbon emissions for their buildings’ electricity and heating consumption during the calendar year 2020-2021. The EFA tool also requested figures for two previous calendar years (2018 & 2019) in order to create a simple three-year average emissions baseline calculation (2020 is not used due to COVID-19 restrictions). These calculations are now being used by churches and cathedrals to track and review their emissions over time, providing tangible evidence of how the urgent, positive actions being taken to address the climate emergency can directly result in a significant reduction of carbon emissions. In aggregate, all the emissions data submitted using the EFA have been used to provide an estimate of the total baseline of carbon emissions for the SEC’s buildings and preliminary results were presented at Synod 2022.
Provincial Environment Group Membership