CAFOD praises bishops for ‘one of the UK’s largest green energy contracts’
Catholic aid agency CAFOD has praised the bishops of England and Wales for taking a lead in their commitment to using renewable energy.
The bishops have signed a new contract to supply renewable energy to over 4000 UK Catholic churches and schools.
The new contract, between Inter-diocesan Fuel Management (IFM), the Catholic Church’s energy procurement group, and British Gas Business, is reportedly one of the largest green energy contracts in the UK.
“We know we must reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero if we are to protect our common home,” Neil Thorns, CAFOD’s Director of Advocacy, said.
“This announcement about the wider adoption of renewable energy by Catholic churches and schools demonstrates again how committed the Church is to delivering the vision Pope Francis outlined in Laudato Si’.”
Under the new contract, landmarks such as Westminster, Nottingham and Plymouth Cathedrals will be supplied with green gas and renewable electricity.
The deal also covers 2,800 churches, and over 2,200 schools, care homes and community centres, in 20 England and Welsh Catholic dioceses.
CAFOD has been campaigning for an end to climate change for many years and supported the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ to care for the environment. Mr Thorns highlighted the impact of the new contract across the globe.
“This news reflects the widespread concern seen among ordinary parishioners about the impact of climate change, particularly on poor communities overseas, with dozens of parishes signed up as livesimply parishes committed to reducing their impact on the planet,” he said.
In a statement about their commitment to caring for creation, the bishops said: “We look to avoid the worst consequences of this ecological crisis by engaging now and over the next decade on this ‘long path to renewal.’”
“We, the Bishops of England and Wales, commit ourselves and invite our people to engage in this urgent challenge, so that together we show leadership by our actions.”
Gab Barbaro, Managing Director of British Gas Business, said: “We commend IFM and the Catholic church for their desire to take the lead on renewable energy adoption, and hope that others will follow. This contract demonstrates that it is becoming easier than ever before to cut carbon emissions from our public and private sector buildings.”
The bishops regard the new contract as the latest in a string of effective responses to the environmental crisis from 2002 to the present day.
Amongst others, they pointed out the Call of Creation document in 2002, the CAFOD Live Simply awards in 2011, the Global Healing project of 2018 and Bishop John Arnold’s 2019 Lenten letter, focusing on climate change.
Picture: This CNS photo by Thomas Mukoya, Reuters, shows the power-generating wind turbines seen at northern Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project on September 4, 2018, in Loyangalani, Kenya.Tags: Bishop, Bishop for the Environment, bishops, Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, CAFOD, Care of Creation, catholic, Catholic bishops of England and Wales, Catholic Church, Catholic Directory of England and Wales, Catholic environmentalists, Christian, environment, environmental, God’s creation, Laudato Si', Pope Francis, St Francis, The Theology of Pope Francis, UK