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Shrinking the Footprint: From the Bishop of London

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In the 21st century in an interconnected world, practising love of neighbours means we are committed to mitigating the effects of climate change. These impacts fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable in the world, and those least able to adapt to the rising temperatures and flooding we are already witnessing.

The Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign commits us all to cutting our carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (compared to 2005). Therefore we must all reduce the energy we use and the fossil fuels we burn.

We have pledged during the debates on the Climate Change Bill in Parliament to review our targets in the light of the latest scientific evidence. This evidence is accumulating and becoming more compelling all the time.

We must also reduce our waste in this throwaway society – especially what we send to landfill. The UK’s waste could fill Trafalgar Square to the height of Nelson’s column every day! It is vital that we strive to consume less, throw away less, recycle more.

We must learn to live with greater simplicity and tranquility. We must curb our relentless pursuit of material consumption and novelty for its own sake. We must choose with care and moderation what we eat and drink, the accessories we so crave to support us both in work and play.

On these pages you will find a range of practical information and resources designed to equip individuals and parishes to contribute towards achieving our goals.

We have great potential to make a difference together in London. Our 480 churches and 150 schools reach out to a community of 4.2 million people in 1.9 million homes across the Diocese.

There are three simple steps that can help us get started and begin to make a difference:

  • Replace conventional light bulbs with low energy models
  • Turn down the heating by one degree
  • Switch to a green energy supplier.

Most of our churches have done these things already, and are ready to move forward to further challenges. Find out how, and download other suggestions from the linked pages. If you have additional practical ideas, please get in touch with the Head of Environmental Challenge, so we can further improve this site.

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