How the church can help deliver community energy projects: Bishop of Derby speaks on the Infrastructure Bill

“We need to get people in their own backyards to understand, participate in and support this kind of culture change, without which our whole aspiration to deal with climate change issues will fall very far short” – Bishop of Derby, 18/6/14


The Government’s Infrastructure Bill was debated at its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 18th June 2014. During the debate, the Bishop of Derby, Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, focused on community energy provisions and, drawing on local examples, the role that churches can play as intermediary institutions. More details on the Bill, which also contains provisions on transport, planning and housing, can be found here.

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, welcome the Infrastructure Bill and its joined-up thinking. A number of noble Lords have looked across the whole Bill and the large scale of it, but I shall look at only a specific area—that of community energy—and ask the Minister about how the Government can deliver on that. Continue reading “How the church can help deliver community energy projects: Bishop of Derby speaks on the Infrastructure Bill”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government for update on international climate agreements (Written Question)

On 17th June 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on climate change.

Climate ChangeBishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in securing a deal on the European Union’s 2030 climate change reduction package, in advance of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The European Council in March 2014 discussed the 2030 climate and energy framework and agreed to make a final decision on the Framework no later than October this year.

The UK believes that the EU should urgently adopt a domestic emissions reduction target for 2030 of at least 40% on 1990 levels, moving to 50% in the context of an ambitious global climate agreement.

I am determined to continue working closely and intensively with all my colleagues in Europe to ensure that the EU is in a position to play a leading role at the Ban Ki-Moon Climate Summit in September.


Queen’s Speech 2014: Bishop of St Albans on the rural economy

“Subsidiarity must be a key principle in any reforms—working towards a more participatory democracy, in which all people feel that they have a stake in a shared society and want to engage in the democratic process….We have to insist that people do not retreat into an unthinking, uncaring nimbyism that refuses to address the real problems facing us”- Bishop of St Albans 05/06/14

On 5th June 2014 in the third contribution from the Bishop’s Benches in response to the Queen’s Speech, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the rural economy and the impact that a wide range of issues, including housing, energy security and the Government’s plans for forestry, would have on its future. 

Bishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, congratulate my colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Rochester on his maiden speech. From these Benches, I can say that we are delighted that he will bring a great deal of insight and experience, not least into housing and prisons, into our debates. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2014: Bishop of St Albans on the rural economy”

Bishop of Worcester speaks of close link between overseas development and climate change

Baroness Rawlings asked Her Majesty’s Government by how much United Kingdom overseas aid will be increased in 2014-15 as a result of the growth in gross domestic product and the 0.7% target for overseas aid.

The Bishop of Worcester asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, the Minister has already referred to Pakistan. I was going to draw her attention to the Bangladeshi floods of 1998, which resulted in the loss of 30 million homes and cost the economy of that country 4.8% of its GDP. Does the Minister agree that the spending of money generally on countries which are affected terribly by climate change is both in our national interest and a moral responsibility?

Baroness Northover: The right reverend Prelate sums it up extremely effectively.


Bishop of Ripon and Leeds uses final speech to speak about economic and climatic challenges in the UK

R_LIn a wide-ranging debate, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds focused his remarks on the need for a clear and coherent national strategy for responding to natural disasters such as the recent extreme flooding in parts of the country. He also urged the Government to link such a strategy with a long-term and international strategy for tackling climate change. He also commented on the role of the Church of England in education and its commitment to ensuring that there is adequate provision as the population grows. Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds uses final speech to speak about economic and climatic challenges in the UK”

Vote – Energy Bill

On 4th November 2013, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, took part in a division during the Report Stage of the Government’s Energy Bill.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Labour Peer Baroness Worthington moved amendment 74, regarding the reduction of carbon emissions.

The Bishop of Lichfield voted ‘not content’. No bishop voted ‘content’.

There were: Contents: 237 | Not Contents: 193 | Result: Government Defeat


Vote – Energy Bill

On 28th October 2013, two bishops took part in a division on the Government’s Energy Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Crossbench Peer Lord Oxburgh moved amendment 1, which would require the government to set out its decarbonisation strategy in 2014, establishing milestones up to 2030.

The Bishops of Lichfield and London voted ‘content’. No bishop voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 202 | Not Contents: 216 | Result: Government Win