Thousands of UK churches ditch fossil fuels
More than 3,500 churches across the UK have taken the initiative on climate change and are leading by example on the use of renewable technology and green energy. The majority of Salvation Army buildings as well as thousands of Quaker and Catholic religious centres have made the switch and it is anticipated that many more will follow suit in the future.
Organisations such as Big Church Switch, in association with Christian Aid, organise interested churches together and collectively bargain with carefully selected green energy companies on their behalf. This drives prices paid by the churches down and increases the customer base of the energy company. This mirrors the collective bargaining agreements many individual households are striking with ethical companies such as Ecotricity across the UK, and represents one of the best ways ordinary people can reduce their carbon footprint.
Another method pursued by churches across the UK is investment in renewable technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines. Older churches tend to have an issue with this due to their buildings invariably enjoying listed status, but newer buildings have pushed on and embraced the new green technologies enthusiastically. The sight of a church covered in solar panels is a common one on the streets of Great Britain.
While attendance at churches is generally in decline across the UK, regardless of which branch of Christianity you look at, their congregations are still sizeable and their cultural influence is significant. People have followed where churches have led for a long time and their embrace of renewable technologies and green energy may become a very necessary and important example in a country where the government cares little for its duty of care to the environment and shows no real desire to invest in the future, preferring dirtier solutions in the present.