photo: Matthew McDermott
Let's leave differences about the Roman Catholic Church's metaphysical teachings and some of their social stances aside for the moment, and recognize that Vatican City has made huge strides forward in renewable energy, leading the way in commitment to solar power in many ways. In fact, Daily Energy Report highlights the fact that, with the completion of its latest solar power project, the Vatican is in one way the planet's most environmentally friendly nation.
Their recent installation of solar panels helped the Vatican reach their record high solar energy production per capita of 200 watts per inhabitant. Officials say the installation of the panels on the Vatican's conference hall has saved the nation almost 90 tons of oil equivalent.
For comparison, Germany has the second highest amount of solar power installed per capita with 80 watts. Italy comes in at just about 4 watts per capita.
OK, OK, it's only fair to mention that Vatican City is the world's smallest nation, having a population of just 800 people--the two blocks around my apartment in New York City has orders of magnitude more people living in it--so perhaps its really not entirely fair to compare a city-state in the confines of another city, with absolutely no industry and some of whose power is actually installed outside the boundaries of the city itself to other nations. But nevertheless the increasing emphasis on environmental protection--including the potential effect of the Pope's recent softening of position on condom use--is certainly encouraging.
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More on The Vatican:
Solar Roof Brings Vatican Closer to Becoming World's First Carbon-Neutral State
The Vatican Declares Pollution One of the Most Deadly Modern Sins
Pope to Build the Biggest Solar Power Plant in Europe
The Pope Wants a Solar-Powered Popemobile
Let There Be Solar Panels... And There Were: Vatican Completes Rooftop Solar Array