Audio: The Vatican Goes Green

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The Holy See has embarked on a new mission: the fight against climate change. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that Vatican City would strive to become the first carbon-neutral state. Although the Vatican’s plan to purchase carbon offset credits fell through, the sovereign city-state has harnessed the power of the sun with solar panels and a solar generator, and has also made progress with energy conservation efforts. Pope Benedict has added a religious element to the climate change debate by framing the issue as a moral imperative.

To discuss these unprecedented efforts, Need to Know’s Alison Stewart spoke with Mark Hopkins, an energy expert with the United Nations Foundation who has 30 years of experience in energy policy and program development. Hopkins toured the Vatican’s new energy efficient facilities last year.

St. Peter's Basilica is seen in the background of a solar panel set up on the roof of the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. Photo: Evandro Inetti/Zumapress.comSt. Peter’s Basilica is seen in the background of a solar panel set up on the roof of the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. Photo: Evandro Inetti/Zumapress.com

This podcast was produced by Need to Know as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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