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Solar panels on the roof of the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican in 2010 (CNS/Paul Haring)

With more than 450 people gathering at the Vatican from around the world for a month-long meeting, the General Secretariat of the Synod said it is taking action to reduce the environmental impact of the Synod assembly. Source: NCR Online.

Making the event plastic-free, eliminating waste, using only recycled paper and only when necessary are part of the plan, but with more than 50 per cent of the assembly’s calculated carbon footprint coming from long-distance travel, the Vatican has secured financial support from the Switzerland-based SOS Planet Foundation to generate offsetting carbon credits by sending “efficient cooking stoves and water purification technologies to households, communities and institutions” in Kenya and Nigeria.

The first assembly of the Synod of Bishops is scheduled to meet at the Vatican on October 4-29. A second assembly is planned for October 2024.

Announcing the carbon-offset plan yesterday, the Synod office also noted that the Synod’s opening day is when Pope Francis has said he will publish a follow-up document to his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home.

The choice of fuel-efficient cookstoves and water purification systems “responds to the criterion of integral ecology” Laudato Si’ called for by combining concern for the environment, attention to local needs and concrete assistance to people, the Synod office said.


Synod office announces plan to reduce assembly’s carbon footprint (CNS via NCR Online)