As in many countries catholics just said a prayer and burned a candle to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jezus into heaven, on Augsut 15, the Catholic Church  becomes  the largest single consumer of green gas certificates through a contract signed with British Gas on Augsut 16, 2019 with the Catholic Church’s energy procurement group, Inter-diocesan Fuel Management (IFM), which covers 2,800 churches and 2.200 schools from 20 of the 22 Catholic dioceses in England and Wales, including landmarks such as Westminster, Nottingham, and Plymouth cathedrals. Based on annual volume, British Gas Business said, this will result in 32 ktCO2e of carbon emissions savings annually or taking 21,000 cars off the road. Gab Barbaro, managing director of British Gas Business, said: “We commend IFM and the Catholic church for their desire to take the lead on renewable energy adoption, and hope (pray)  that others will.

As for the Vatican in fact former Pope Benedict XVI  has been dubbed the ‘green’ Pope. He is still a champion for environmental awareness and promoted renewable energy. This resulted in the Vatican City declared as the world’s greenest state, producing 200 watts of solar energy per inhabitant – with the population of the Vatican City around 800 at the time. This came after the former Pontiff made a number of energy changes, aiming to make the city a carbon-neutral state. Benedict installed 2,400 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium. The Vatican converted sunlight into electricity and even won an award for producing a giant solar-powered generator, scheduled to supply the 180-acre city state with 20% of its electricity needs by 2020, providing lighting, heating and cooling to a part of the entire country. Pope Benedict made environmental issues big news. He joined a reforestation project in a bid to offset the Vatican’s carbon dioxide emissions. He also acquired a partially electric hybrid car as an eco-friendly initiative. The vehicle had a 44 kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery which allowed it to travel up to 105 miles without recharging.

Current pope Francis made waves with his Laudato sì encyclical letter in 2015 that called for an ecological conversion of all people. The pope invites young economists scientisists and entreprneurs to Assisi , the birthplace of St. Francis in Italy on March 26 -28 , 2020 “to correct models of growth incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment, openness to life, concern for the family, social equality, the dignity of workers and the rights of future generations.”

Photo: courtesy Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament: Pope Benedict Plaque at Westminster Cathedral