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Vatican to Become 8th Country to Achieve 100% Green Energy

Vatican to Become 8th Country to Achieve 100% Green Energy

Listen to this story:
  • Vatican City to become 100% solar-powered, joining a select group of green energy leaders.
  • Pope Francis emphasizes the ethical and social imperative of combating climate change.
  • The Vatican’s solar plant project reinforces its commitment to climate neutrality and sustainability.

The Vatican is set to join an elite group of nations generating all their electricity from renewable sources, following Pope Francis’s announcement of a new solar power project. This initiative positions Vatican City as the eighth country worldwide to achieve this milestone.

In his apostolic letter, Fratello Sole (Brother Sun), Pope Francis detailed the plan to build a solar plant on 424 hectares of Vatican-owned land near Rome. This project will complement existing solar installations within the city-state, ensuring complete energy independence.

We need to make a transition towards a sustainable development model that reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, setting the objective of climate neutrality,” Pope Francis stated. “Humanity has the technological means necessary to face this environmental transformation and its pernicious ethical, social, economic, and political consequences, and solar energy plays a fundamental role.

Upon completion, the Vatican will join Albania, Bhutan, Nepal, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Iceland, and Congo, which generate over 99.7% of their electricity from renewables. According to Stanford University’s Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, 40 other countries generate at least 50% of their electricity from renewable sources like geothermal, hydro, solar, or wind.

We don’t need miracle technologies,” Professor Jacobson told The Independent in April. “We need to stop emissions by electrifying everything and providing the electricity with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS), which includes onshore wind, solar photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, geothermal electricity, small hydroelectricity, and large hydroelectricity.

Environmental stewardship has been a cornerstone of Pope Francis’s papacy. In 2015, he identified human-induced climate change as a major concern for the planet’s future. The Vatican’s commitment to sustainability was further solidified in 2022 when it joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aiming to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system.”

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In May, Pope Francis underscored the urgency of the climate crisis, describing it as having reached “the point of no return.” He warned, “Global warming is alarming,” during an interview with CBS News, stressing the need for sustained global action beyond mere agreements and signatures at climate conferences.

This ambitious solar project not only advances the Vatican’s energy independence but also serves as a powerful symbol of its dedication to leading by example in the global fight against climate change.

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