Last updated 15th February 2023
'I used to think the top environmental problems facing the world were global warming, environmental degradation and eco-system collapse, and that we scientists could fix those problems with enough science. But I was wrong. The real problem is not those three items, but greed, selfishness and apathy. And for that we need a spiritual and cultural transformation.’
Gus Speth, US Environmental lawyer and former Dean of Forestry at Yale addressing a group of religious leaders
General Synod in July 2015 re-affirmed the Church of England's commitment to play a leading role in the effort to prevent dangerous climate change, including through the Church's ethical investment activities. The CofE’s own national campaign Shrinking the Footprint aims to enable the whole Church to address – in faith, practice and mission – the issue of climate change.
The Church of England’s General Synod in February 2020 set new targets for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030.
Members voted for all parts of the Church of England to take action and ramp-up efforts to reduce emissions, and called for urgent steps to examine requirements to reach the new target, and draw up an action plan.
The Church Commissioners’ policy on climate change drawn up by its Ethical Investment Advisory Group has a divestment and engagement strategy targeted at the highest polluting parts of the fossil fuel industry. The Commissioners have made significant low carbon investments including forestry, green office buildings and environmental investment funds.