Vatican goes solar
May 2, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Worldwatch Institute is hailing Pope Benedict as the Vatican's first "green pope." Last year the Vatican installed ...
Worldwatch Institute is hailing Pope Benedict as the Vatican’s first “green pope.” Last year the Vatican installed solar panels on a 10,000-set auditorium, and it also arranged to reforest land in Hungary. Vatican City is the world’s first carbon-neutral state, says Worldwatch.
Also a Vatican official has added a new list of seven deadly sins related to globalization. Most of these relate to poverty and consumerism, noting a widening gap between rich and poor, but they also include the sin of environmental degradation.
Indeed, Worldwatch notes that the United Nations Environment Programme has found a rising environmental consciousness among all the world’s religions. The UNEP has tracked 100 articles over the past year that document support for environmental protection.
In March, U.S. Southern Baptist leaders issued a declaration urging their members to take personal action to reduce the human impact on the climate, and to support green public policies. “We believe our current denominational engagement with these issues has often been too timid,” wrote the church leaders.
In Canada, various churches at both a national and local level have initiatives under way. The international organization A Rocha Canada, for example, runs nature conservation projects from a base in Surrey, B.C. And from Toronto, Kairos, the Canadian ecumenical Christian social activist organization has set up a partnership with Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency to help churches improve their building’s energy use.