Churches should be more Carbon Neutral.
by Mark E Crossley
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What is Abu Dubai doing to be Carbon Neutral?
It is reported that after spending $5 Billion it is envisaged that Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when complete in 2009 will be the nearest thing yet to a zero-carbon, zero-waste city.
It will be a city free of cars, pedestrian-friendly, powered by renewable energy and surrounded by wind and photovoltaic farms all in the middle of a petroleum-rich desert.
This six sq km city expanse will house energy, science and technology community, Abu Dhabi accounts for more than 90 percent of the oil resources, and the country's reserves, exceeding 100 billion barrels, ranked third largest in the world.
It is estimated that the CCS network could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 40 percent, increase oil production by up to 10 percent and liberate large quantities of natural gas. This could be achieved through the separation of the gas from industrial and energy related sources and its transportation to oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery.
Abu Dhabi also plans to invest 350 million US dollars in a 100 megawatt solar power plant and hopes to tap into a growing global trend among environment-conscious investors. The plant will be expandable to 500 Mw with a target to generate enough power for 500,000 households. This is so encouraging what the Crown Prince is trying to facilitate.
What is this Carbon Neutral we are going on about?
Carbon Neutral is defined as “Emitting no net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere”
How does one calculate one’s Carbon Emissions?
You can use these websites to calculate your carbon emissions in a year:
What 10 practical things can your church do to try and offset your Carbon Emissions?
1. Recycle paper
2. Check water outlets – fix drips and leaks
3. Collect rainfall from down pipes for use in garden
4. Regularly service boiler or heating appliances
5. Switch to ‘green’ electricity (electricity from renewable sources)
6. Installed low-energy light bulbs where appropriate
7. Encourage building users to switch off unnecessary lights and not
Leave items on stand-by (e.g. photocopier)
8. Heating system with timer and thermostatic controls
9. Install appropriate levels of insulation where appropriate
10. Publish green tips in any church/parish magazine
It is claimed that out of 47,500 churches in the United Kingdom only 100 according to http://www.ecocongregation.org are registered as working towards offsetting their carbon emissions. This website also gives great resources and awards that churches can use so log on and get inspired. What are the other 47,400 doing?
On 16th February 2008 in The Salvation Army’s newspaper called “The War Cry” shows an article of Two Bishops Rt Rev James Jones and Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres who are urging people to cut their carbon rather than give up chocolate for Lent. More can be read on www.tearfund.org about their scheme and initiative.
There needs to be more high profile Christians who speak out on issues such as this and get their peers to buy into schemes such as this.
What should we do now?
1. Discuss this with your leadership and trustees/eldership at the next meeting
2. Talk about this regionally and nationally within your denomination
3. Talk about this issues with fellow ministers in the community
4. Ask the church to participate and get involved
5. Publish the results in the local media, church website and newsletter.
Finally: Christian Thought.
The Bibles says “Take particular care in picking out your building materials, eventually there is going to be an inspection” 1 Corinthians 3: 10
We as believers in church have a duty to lead the way, to use God’s resources appropriately and wisely therefore one must always be looking for ways to be more effective in the Kingdom of God. One must not neglect the resources God puts in our hands.
Someone once said “You never know what you have until it’s gone, and I wanted to know what I had, so I got rid of everything. He lamented, “I really like that one, but it didn’t really get a laugh.” The bishops kind of have a point by giving chocolate up for Lent to concentrate on this issue.
“Everybody has to realize they have personal responsibility,” he said. “They can’t just wait for the government or the corporate world to do something about it. If everybody could strive to be carbon neutral, this would be a greater world.”
Instead of businesses leading the way churches should publish on their website and possibly in the local newspaper what they are doing to do their bit for the world on this issue.
Come on church let’s get to grips with this issue and start leading the way like the two bishops above are trying to do in conjunction with Tear Fund. Let’s hear more success stories on www.ecocongregation in the near future. Be encouraged to do something instead of nothing!.
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