The Big Church Switch

The Big Church Switch calls on churches, and individual Christians, of all denominations to switch our energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as part of our commitment to care for our neighbours and for the earth, our common home.

What CAFOD and the Catholic Church are doing

We can celebrate the fact that our Catholic values, and the desire to care for our common home and our neighbours, means that parishes in eighteen Catholic dioceses already get their energy on a 100% renewable energy tariff.

The remaining dioceses are working towards switching to renewable energy as contracts come up for renewal. By the end of 2017, we hope that all dioceses will have made the switch.

Dioceses are working together to buy energy so that as many Catholic parishes, schools and religious orders as possible are covered by one contract. This means that the administration and costs for churches will come down and more money can be used for their work.

CAFOD supports the aims of the Big Church Switch, but is not a member organisation. 

“We wanted to switch to a company that supplied energy from renewable sources to make a positive environmental impact and be a witness and source of encouragement for others. We did the switch through the diocese when our contract came up for renewal. Rather wonderfully, it turned out that the tariff being offered for renewable energy was almost exactly the same as that for ‘brown’ energy.”

Fr Tom Dubois, Nailsea parish

Why switch to renewables?

Tens of thousands of CAFOD supporters signed our petition to world leaders before the Paris climate change talks. Our voices were heard. The Paris agreement marks the start of a new era of action on climate change and makes clear the world must move to a low carbon future.

But progress is possible only if we show our government that we expect the move away from fossil fuels to start now. As Pope Francis says in Laudato Si', “We know that technology based on fossil fuels … needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

Power stations generate around one-quarter of all the UK’s emissions of the gases that cause climate change. Shifting to electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar will send a strong signal to governments and businesses that churches are prepared to lead the way.

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