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Briefing paper on fracking

The Church of England announced the publication today of its Briefing Paper on Shale Gas and Fracking.


The Paper assesses shale gas and fracking as they relate to local communities, the environment, UK energy policy and the UK’s commitment to carbon reduction targets under the COP21 agreement. It draws on the report into shale gas and fracking published by the independent Committee on Climate Change in July 2016.

The Briefing Paper concludes that any development of shale gas reserves in the UK must not distract or delay efforts to expand low-carbon renewable energy (including community-owned energy) or other efforts to meet the UK’s long-term 2050 carbon reduction targets.

The key to whether or not fracking is an acceptable practice turns on three points:

  • the place of shale gas within a transitional energy policy committed to a low carbon economy
  • the adequacy and robustness of the regulatory regime under which it is conducted
  • the robustness of local planning and decision-making processes

The Briefing Paper accepts that a robust planning and regulatory regime is possible. Ongoing research into, and monitoring of, any impact on health and the environment is needed as part of that regime.

The Paper recognises and sympathises with the concerns of individuals and communities who are directly affected by fracking activities in their neighbourhoods and asks that their legitimate concerns are heard. Where developments go forward it is essential that appropriate protections and compensation are put in place.

Link here for the full report.

New Church Times Environmental Awards launched!

IN 2007, the Church Times or­gan­ised the first Green Church Awards. Scores of churches entered, giving details of imaginative schemes for reducing their church’s environ­mental footprint, preserving the natural world, campaigning for change, and educating the next gen­eration in sustainable living.

In the past ten years there have been great advances in scientific understanding and public aware­ness. At the local level, reducing energy use has become an everyday concern, and awareness of the need to combat the effects of global warming is wide­spread. Recycling has been em­­braced, and it is now possible to subscribe to clean-energy suppliers. Internation­ally, impres­sive efforts have been made to build on the Kyoto Agreement, culmin­ating in the Paris Agreement, now signed by 117 countries, and ratified officially in November.

Read more ...

Winter update from Shrinking the Footprint

Our latest e-news is available now. Click here to download it and find out more about Gloucester Cathedral's new solar panels, the Big Church Switch, Tree Charter and much more.

Pilgrimage to Paris reunion

This time last year our intrepid pilgrims were just a few days in to their two week walk from London to Paris for the historic COP21 UN climate talks. Inspired by their faith, pilgrims from across the UK took part, calling on world leaders to agree a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal. The Church of England, Christian Aid and Tearfund came together to organise the pilgrimage which culminated in a handover of over one million faith signatures to President Hollande. Take a look at the film here and the website here.  

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