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First Steps – Towards Net Zero Carbon (NZC)

First Steps – Towards Net Zero Carbon (NZC)

Net Zero Carbon (NZC) is when the input and output of carbon (and other greenhouse gases) balance. Here are two definitions:

“The term net zero means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon removed from it. This balance – or net zero – will happen when the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed.” (Energy Saving Trust)

“Net zero means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out.

Think about it like a bath – turn on the taps and you add more water, pull out the plug and water flows out. The amount of water in the bath depends on both the input from the taps and the output via the plughole. To keep the amount of water in the bath at the same level, you need to make sure that the input and output are balanced.” (National Grid)

The Church of England has set a target of NZC by 2030 for churches and various church institutions to achieve. The scope of the target has been set in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

“The focus is primarily on our “scope 1” and “scope 2” emissions as defined by standard Green-house Gas (GHG) protocol; electricity, gas and oil used in our buildings, work related travel, and those elements where we either directly control the emissions or where we have significant influence over them.”


From David Attenborough documentaries to news reports, the information about what is happening to our climate and environment is grim. The scientific evidence and assessments are in the following primary document, which includes further references:

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  Sixth Assessment Report 2022.

World Wide Fund for Nature Living Planet Report 2020



This year (2022) the Church of England published its Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

See the Tools & Resources page for more information on measuring your carbon footprint.


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