Pope Francis says Vatican City will run on 100% renewables

Aerial photo of Vatican City
Vatican City (Image: Shutterstock)

Vatican City will become the eighth country in the world to generate 100% of its electricity from renewables, with Pope Francis announcing plans to build a solar plant.

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In an apostolic letter titled Fratello Sole (“Brother Sun”), Pope Francis said the solar project would be constructed on 424ha of Vatican-owned property outside Rome, adding capacity to existing solar installations in the city state.

“We need to make a transition towards a sustainable development model that reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, setting the objective of climate neutrality,” Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis waving to crowds in Vatican City
Pope Francis waving to crowds in Vatican City (Image: Shutterstock)

“Humanity has the technological means necessary to face this environmental transformation and its pernicious ethical, social, economic and political consequences, and solar energy plays a fundamental role.”

Once achieved, Vatican City will become the smallest country by land mass to be entirely energy independent.

In May, Pope Francis underscored the urgency of the climate crisis, describing it as having reached “the point of no return.”

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“Global warming is alarming,” he said during an interview with CBS News, reiterating the need for global action beyond agreements at climate conferences.

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