Normally, the announcement of a new Pope wouldn’t get much play in environmental circles, so the fact that newly elected Pope Francis is creating a buzz within the green community is big news.
When you think about environmental protection, the Vatican doesn’t necessarily come to mind, but in fact, the Vatican has been taking a leadership role. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI installed a 100MW solar photovoltaic system that made Vatican City the world’s first solar powered nation state. Although it’s the smallest sovereign nation, it serves as a powerful example to the rest of the world of what is possible. Likewise, in his early days as the new pope, Pope Francis has signaled that protecting the environment will play a central role in his papacy.
The Environmental Pope Embraces Solar
During his inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the new Pope told the crowd, “I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” His repeated references to environmental protection laid the foundation for a papacy that will emphasize everyone’s responsibility as stewards of the planet, creating a sense of hope and anticipation for many concerned about issues related to the environment.
At EnergySage, we are always happy to see world leaders making the environment and climate change issues a priority. We share Pope Francis’ belief that “in the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it.” We’re happy to see him embracing these issues from the start and we hope his commitment is contagious!