Ahead of the meeting, we caught up with Jo Chamberlain from the Church of England Environment Programme.
What’s the Net Zero Carbon meeting about?
All our buildings emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (often we just say carbon for short) when we heat them, light them, and run other equipment. The meeting is a chance for those involved in looking after buildings all across Sheffield Diocese to come together to discuss how to run our buildings in a way that creates less of those polluting carbon emissions. We’ll be sharing information and practical advice and there will be a chance to ask questions to all the speakers on the day.
Why is Net Zero Carbon important?
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere act like a warming blanket round the earth and have been keeping our planet’s temperature just right. But the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has been rising dramatically in the last few decades, and the planet is getting hotter. This is changing the climate all round the world – stronger and more frequent storms, devastating floods, more severe drought. The impact is devasting. It leads to homes or even whole communities being washed away, scarcity of water and crop failure leading to famine and forcing people from their homes and way of life, more severe heatwaves causing death to the young, elderly and unwell, forest fires destroying homes and communities for people and animals.
As Christians, we love God and we love other people. Our carbon emissions are part of the problem, part of the cause of this environmental breakdown. We need to take responsibility for our pollution and cut our emissions to as close to zero as we possibly can.
What can we do as individuals to help?
We’ve all been shocked by the cost of gas and electricity this winter, so everything you’ve been doing to try to reduce your energy bills is also reducing your carbon emissions. Keep going! If you can, you can also switch your bills to a green energy provider. But as individuals, we have the most power when we work together. That’s why it’s so important for churches to act, because a church can reduce its own emissions, which in turn encourages everyone in the church to do the same. Get your church to sign up to be an Eco Church, to measure its carbon footprint by using the Energy Footprint Tool, and to make a plan to cut carbon. Talk to your family, your neighbours and your friends about why it is important to care about climate change and make changes together.
For more ideas about what individuals can do, look up WWF Footprint Calculator
What are you hoping to achieve from the meeting?
I hope people will be inspired to make changes, encouraged to see that change is possible, and equipped with the information to go back to their community and put things into practice. We want people to leave feeling like they know what they can do, and where the information is to help them. There’s lots more information on our website: Church of England Environment Programme | The Church of England
What message do you have to someone thinking about attending the gathering?
Come and meet us. Come and meet the people in the diocese who can help you with your plans. Come and meet me and others from the national church who want to support you in your plans. Come and ask questions, come and share your own experience. Together, we can make it happen.
Bookings have closed via Eventbrite, but anyone who does want to attend can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.