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Tackling Climate Change - With Partners

In the past year, much has been made of grasping the opportunity for changing the ways we do things to help to address the very real threat of Climate Change. Many local councils have declared a Climate Emergency and have developed strategies to address the challenges. These include transport and energy policies and development guidelines for both housing and industry to make the area carbon neutral by a specified date.

In Dorchester, we have an ecumenical Churches’ Ecology Group. Its remit is to raise awareness of the issues in our churches, encouraging them to take steps to cut carbon emissions: including working towards the stepped awards of the Eco-Church scheme, and to work with other environmental groups on shared campaigns. The group made a response to Dorset Council’s Climate Emergency Strategy and also the Draft Local Plan, recommending that the environmental points be strengthened and that more specific practical action is taken.

Addressing these issues as Churches Together, and as members of Dorset Climate Action Network, has meant that we have a stronger voice and access to people with extensive knowledge and experience in their respective fields, giving us confidence to tackle some of the complex and interrelated issues.

My own church, St Peter’s Anglican Church, has an ancient heating system with Victorian pipes and an old oil fired boiler, needing replacement. The time spent in building relationships with the Council, based in offices next door to the church, meant that we knew of their plan to install a biomass boiler for their building, using locally sourced wood pellets. Conversations have begun about the possibility of sharing this with them, via an underground pipe. This idea would have been unthinkable a few years ago and demonstrates the value of not only talking to our community neighbours but building deeper relationships with them.

Tackling Climate Change needs us all to engage together, enabling us to be ambitious and creative in finding solutions.

For more information on Eco-Church click here


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