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Carbon Emissions

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

5. What steps the commissioners are taking to reduce the carbon footprint of activities within their responsibility. (204055)

Within their own areas of responsibility, in 2007 the commissioners increased from seven to 18 the number of fuel-efficient hybrid-power cars provided to bishops, and they aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in diocesan bishops’ houses and offices by 60 per cent. by the year 2050 in line with the Government’s energy White Paper.

I am grateful for that answer and encouraged to learn that action is being taken. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the most important thing is to have an overall assessment of the carbon footprint of all the activities of the Church Commissioners and that they are all subject to a target for carbon reduction in line with the specific target that he referred to for housing?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that question. He will remember the answer that I gave him on 23 July 2007 in relation to the National Church Institutions being committed to the Church’s shrinking footprint campaign. I am sure he would agree that there is a welcome conference taking place at Lambeth Palace on 13 May, when the Archbishop of Canterbury will host the first anniversary celebration of “Together”, a climate change campaign that aims to make the practical things that everyone can do easier and more affordable. I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s commitment to the cause.