December 12, 2020

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged countries on Saturday to work towards net zero carbon emissions and committed Vatican City – the world’s smallest state – to reaching the target by 2050.

Francis, who has championed environmental causes since his election in 2013, told a U.N. climate summit the 108-acre (44-hectare) city-state surrounded by Rome would be doing its bit to fight climate change.

“The current pandemic and climate change, which are not only environmentally relevant, but also ethically, socially, economically and politically, affect, above all, the lives of the poorest and most fragile,” he said in a video message to the summit.

“In addition to adopting some measures that cannot be postponed any longer, a strategy is needed to reduce net emissions to zero,” Francis said.

He committed the Vatican “to reducing net emissions to zero by 2050,” as well as intensifying environmental management efforts and furthering the rational use of natural resources such as water and planting more trees.

A Vatican statement said the city-state was moving ahead with plans to substitute all its combustion engine cars with electric or hybrid vehicles.

It said the Vatican, which began installing solar panels in 2008 and banned single-use plastic bags last year, was now recycling 65% of its waste and aimed to reach 75% in 2023.

In his address, Francis said the Holy See was committed to promoting, in Catholic schools and elsewhere, “an education for integral ecology” to favour development and sustainability and encourage economic policies that respect the environment.

In 2015, Francis wrote a landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) on the need to protect nature. It backed scientific evidence that human activity was to blame for global warming.

Francis also strongly backed the Paris agreement to limit the global rise of temperatures and has said he was saddened by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Helen Popper)

The post Pope commits Vatican to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 first appeared on One America News Network.

Public Affairs

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified first!

You May Also Like

Newsom Recall Shows States Can Do More to Protect Constitutional Rights: Dr. Cordie Williams

It’s a ‘shot across the bow’ of politicians who would restrict civic…

What’s in the Georgia Election Bill?

Republicans in Georgia enacted a set of election reforms last month that…

Texas State Senate Passes Election Integrity Bill Targeting Mail-in Ballots

The Republican-led Texas state Senate passed a bill early on Thursday that…

Grassroots Rebellion Grows With New Calls to Ban Critical Race Theory from Military, Public Schools

Kevin O’Leary said he was “devastated” when he learned his former football…