GHG Emissions - December 15, 2020
Pope Francis sets a net zero carbon target for Vatican City
Pope Francis committed Vatican City on Dec. 12 to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, advancing a policy of clean energy and environmentalism that the state has been focused on over the last decade.
In his address to a U.N. climate summit, the leader of the Catholic Church also urged countries to work toward the same goal of net zero emissions, Reuters reported.
Francis has been an advocate of environmental causes since his election in 2013. In 2008, the 108-acre city-state first began installing solar panels; in 2019, it banned single-use bags and now recycles 65% of its waste with a goal to reach 75% by 2023.
“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,” the pope said to the summit, according to the publication. “In addition to adopting some measures that cannot be postponed any longer, a strategy is needed to reduce net emissions to zero.”
The Vatican also released a statement announcing its intention to move ahead with plans to convert all combustion engine cars to electric or hybrid models.
Pope Francis has been a long-time supporter of the Paris Agreement and in his address to the U.N. said the Vatican was committed to promoting environmentally-focused policies that encourage development and sustainability.