Pope Francis orders construction of Solar Park for Vatican’s energy needs

Pope Francis orders the construction of an agrivoltaic system in the Roman countryside that will provide for the energy needs of both Vatican Radio and the City of the Holy See

Pope Francis, known for his deep concern about the climate crisis and environmental protection, has ordered the construction of a solar park to meet the Vatican’s energy requirements. He has officially tasked the President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State and the President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See with creating an agrivoltaic plant, a photovoltaic system installed on agricultural land within the pontifical state.

A strong message, this directive comes just weeks after the approval of a law prohibiting new ground-mounted solar installations and the expansion of existing ones in areas classified as agricultural.

A call to action in “Brother Sun”

In a self-initiated letter addressed to bishops worldwide titled “Brother Sun,” the Pope reminded readers of the Encyclical Letter “Laudato si’” dated May 24, 2015, where for the first time in history, he promoted the care of Creation, our common home.

“I have invited all humanity to become aware of the need to make changes to their lifestyles, production, and consumption to counteract global warming, which is significantly driven by the pervasive use of fossil fuels,” Pope Francis reminded his pastors.

In the letter, released by the Holy See Press Office, the Pope also specified the location for the solar plant, identifying it in the extraterritorial area of Vatican City, at Santa Maria di Galeria in the Roman countryside. He desires that the energy produced by this facility not only powers the Vatican Radio station, located in this area, but also fully supports the energy needs of Vatican City.

Denouncing climate change denial

The Pope had previously spoken out against climate change denial and fossil fuel companies in his exhortation “Laudate Deum.”

“Despite all attempts to deny, hide, overlook, or relativize the issue,” he writes, “the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident. No one can ignore that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather events, frequent periods of unusual heat, droughts, and other cries of protest from the earth.”

He proclaimed this in a powerful document last year.

Urging sustainable development

Today, Pope Francis reiterates the urgency for sustainable development and the abandonment of fossil fuels to combat the climate crisis. He leads by example, initiating the Vatican’s transition to renewable energy sources for production and consumption.

Source: Sala Stampa della Santa Sede

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