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The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have urged the Government not to proceed with a new generation of coal-fired power stations.

The call comes in the wake of Lord Turner’s Committee for Climate Change report, published on Monday.

The report set out a road map for the UK to de-carbonise its economy over the next few decades.

It recommended huge investments in alternative energies and highlighted the importance of nuclear generation in reducing CO2 emissions.

The report also said that no new coal-fired power stations should be built unless they can be fitted with carbon capture technology by the early 2020s – casting doubt on controversial plans for a new coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth.

The Government will soon make a decision on whether to go ahead with the project.

The three denominations – which make up the Joint Public Issues team – backed the report’s aim to substantially reduce carbon emissions by 2023.

They also called on ministers to turn away from investment in coal-fired power stations and look towards pumping significant investment into energy conservation.

Steve Hucklesby, Methodist policy adviser, said, ‘It is difficult to see how we can invest in new coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth and still achieve the rapid decarbonisation of our economy necessary to avert climate change.

‘Coal-fired power stations produce more carbon emissions than any other generating source.

‘We need to begin now to work for a future in which fossil fuels will be the exception, not the rule.’

The three churches also stressed that while carbon offsetting was a positive action, it would be unacceptable for Britain to use carbon credits to buy out its responsibility to reduce domestic emissions.

‘Carbon offsetting is not the solution to climate change,’ said Mr Hucklesby.

‘It is right that we support the development of clean energy in developing countries, but substantially buying out our responsibility to reduce emissions in the UK would be unjust.’

Elsewhere, campaigners from churches across the UK handed in nearly 2,000 postcards to 10 Downing Street on Monday.

The postcards, part of the Micah Sunday campaign, asked Prime Minister Gordon Brown to secure a global deal that helps poor communities adapt to the effects of climate change.

Used by permission of The Baptist Times, based in England.

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