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Christian Aid promises to halve carbon emissions by the end of the decade

15 Nov 2021 News

Christian Aid has pledged to halve its carbon emissions by the end of the 2020s and has set out the steps it is taking to achieve this. 

The international development charity has announced these targets following the close of the COP26 summit last week. 

The charity aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% from a 2019-20 baseline by 2023-24 and by 50% by 2029-30. 

Christian Aid’s climate footprint strategy

Christian Aid aims to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2023-24. To meet this goal, the charity has set the following targets:

  • 20% of the charity's offices will get at least 25% of their energy from renewable sources (eg, by solar, wind, hydropower).
  • Ensure 50% of offices get local renewably generated energy.
  • Make ground travel 20% more efficient by more sustainable use of vehicles, more efficient vehicles and the company using public transport wherever possible.
  • Reduce printing footprint by 20% by switching to more recycled paper “and other measures”. 
  • Make flights “bounce back to no more than 50% of pre-pandemic levels”.

Christian Aid plans to capitalise on carbon-neutral alternatives, invest in climate finance partner projects, phase out the use of generators and potentially use Gold Standard carbon off-sets. 

Climate progress so far

The charity has measured its greenhouse gas emissions for a decade and reports that its carbon footprint and carbon intensity have reduced by half between April 2011 and March 2020.

This is down to a reduction of flights, vehicle travel and less printing. Although this was partly due to the pandemic, which restricted travel and increased the use of telecommunications.

‘The poorest people are first and worst affected’ by climate change

Patrick Watt, director of policy, public affairs and campaigns at Christian Aid, said: “The poorest people, who’ve contributed least to the climate crisis, are first and worst affected. It doesn't need to be this way. 

“At Christian Aid, we recognise that the decisions we make as individuals, and as an organisation, affect the climate and generations to come. 

“I am proud we have reduced our total carbon footprint and carbon intensity by more than half over the last decade. However, with the planet still warming, there is much more to do. 

“Christian Aid will never shrink away from campaigning with others for climate justice, and calling for decisive action by governments, businesses and individuals to act. 

“With a plan to halve the organisation's emissions by the end of the decade, we continue to match our words with action and encourage others to join us.” 

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