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The 40% House

Christ Church is to become 'The 40% House' and is on track to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. Christ Church has responded to the threat posed by climate change by launching its first Energy Policy in its 484 year history, outlining a strategy to transform energy systems and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 (or by 1,634 tonnes of CO2 per annum), The Very Reverend Dr Christopher Lewis,  Dean of Christ Church said today.

 

 

 

 

Christ Church is to become 'The 40% House' and is on track to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. Christ Church has responded to the threat posed by climate change by launching its first Energy Policy in its 484 year history, outlining a strategy to transform energy systems and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 (or by 1,634 tonnes of CO2 per annum), The Very Reverend Dr Christopher Lewis,  Dean of Christ Church said today.

Speaking to college staff at a carbon and energy awareness training day sponsored by the UK Government’s Carbon Trust, Dr Lewis said that the responsibility to reduce emissions must start at the individual level informed not just by financial incentives offered by the government or University but also by a sense of what is right.

“Atmospheric CO2 levels are around double what they were at the start of the industrial revolution.  With ever increasing pressures on food and energy prices, as well as the threats posed by extreme weather events such as flooding, heat waves and storms – we must ask ourselves, ‘what can we reasonably do to help alleviate these pressures?’ Particularly as these impacts are felt by those who are most vulnerable,” Dr Lewis said.

Dr Lewis said the Plan was inspired by research undertaken at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment and aligned with the UK Government’s carbon reduction targets.

“Until at least 2012 Christ Church is getting its electricity from renewable hydroelectricity under a University and Colleges’ contract with Scottish & Southern Electricity.  This is giving annual emissions reductions of 1,849 tonnes of CO2 per annum to Christ Church compared with the coal powered alternative.  Other issues for college are therefore to reduce demand by identifying old inefficient space heaters and boilers for replacement and by improving insulation of our buildings.  This plan will also help us reduce costs.

“An important principle of the Christ Church Energy Plan is also that the purchase of carbon offsets should not be undertaken until all available measures have been adopted to reduce emissions from our own operations.

“Given the likely competition for securing renewable energy in future, we believe it is prudent  first to invest in order to reduce emissions from our own processes, improving our plant and energy efficiency for the long-term,” Dr Lewis said. 

For further comments or a copy of Christ Church’s Energy Policy contact:
John Harris, The Steward: 
Phone: 01865286580 Email: john.harris@chch.ox.ac.uk

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