Carbon neutrality and the consistory courts

Our post Towards net zero carbon for churches reviewed the motion passed by the General Synod in February 2020 which called on all parts of the Church of England to draw up a plan of action to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) year-on-year, reaching net zero emissions by 2030. The recent Synod, held on 23-24 November 2020, was circulated with the paper Rising to the Challenge: reaching Net Zero by 2030, GS Misc 1262 (“Rising to the Challenge”) which updated members with the progress made since February; the paper itself, however, is not scheduled to be discussed.

The practical issues of reducing GHG emissions were considered in Re St. Mark Mitcham [2020] ECC Swk5, which concerned the replacement of an existing gas fuelled heating system. Mindful of Synod’s commitment, Chancellor Philip Petchey expressed a hope that those who involved in achieving the carbon reduction targets  would find the judgment helpful. Continue reading