** Setting targets **

If your church is considering signing up to the 10:10 campaign...

The 10:10 campaign is asking people and organisations to pledge to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

Would signing up to 10:10 drive the right behaviour in your church, and engage your clergy, staff and congregation in shrinking the footprint? The potential PR might engage the interest of some!  It should not be a one-off effort, so you rest on your laurels after 2010.  And short-term measures to meet the target in 2010 should not compromise longer-term deeper reductions.  You need to consider whether it applies to just the church building, or the transport the congregation uses to get to the church, or even the whole congregation's carbon footprints at home (you could encourage individual members to sign up).  Note that there is no point in signing up to the 10:10 campaign unless you know your current carbon footprint!

The Shrinking the Footprint campaign has some useful Guidance for churches on carbon management.  The top action it recommends is to begin a routine of energy saving, which suggests would give energy savings of 5-15%, which could meet the 10:10 target by itself.  The Guidance describes what this might look like - see p.10 of the Toolkit pdf.

For individuals, the Guardian website has some useful material on how to reduce emissions by 10%.

Carbon reduction targets in 2020 and 2050

The Climate Change Act 2008 is the main legislation in the UK aiming to improve carbon management and help the transition towards a low-carbon economy in the UK.  It sets a legally-binding target of at least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, to be achieved through action in the UK and abroad. Also a reduction in emissions of at least 34% by 2020. Both these targets are against a 1990 baseline.

In October 2009, the Church of England published "Church and Earth: 2009-2016", its Seven-Year Plan on Climate Change and the Environment.  The plan is available as full and summary versions. Quoting from the summary (with our emphasis):

4.1 The challenge before the Church of England is to realise the commitment to a reduction of 80% in its carbon footprint by 2050, in line with current consensus on steps needed to keep the global temperature increase to tolerable levels; and, if necessary, to revise this target if so required by emerging evidence, new findings and international agreement.

4.2 The Church is also challenged to cut its carbon footprint by at least 42% by 2020, in line with the recommendations of the UK Committee on Climate Change [which were based on work by the Met Office]. This would involve at least 5% year-on-year cuts in emissions wherever possible. Development of further phases of Shrinking the Footprint will aim to reduce the Church's ecological footprint to a "One Planet" level by 2050 at the latest.

These targets are ambitious and tough.  To achieve them will require considerable ingenuity, working with others in the community and possibly sacrifice.  The church cannot with integrity be laggards in this area, and we want to challenge every parish and mission community to start thinking now about future visions and plans.