The Vatican's carbon footprint was cut by 225,000 kg after it installed 2,400 solar panels on the roof of the Paul VI auditorium, used for general papal audiences in the winter and during inclement weather the rest of the year.
The solar panels will annually generate 300 megawatt hours of clean energy a for the auditorium and surrounding buildings. The 1.2 million euro solar energy system was manufactured and donated by two German companies, SolarWorld and SMA Solar Technology.
Pope Benedict has been dubbed ‘the green pope' for his promise to help fight global warming. Even though the Vatican was not asked to sign the Kyoto Protocol, it nonetheless pledged to cover 20 percent of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020.
Moreover, the pontiff accepted an offer last year from a Hungarian company to plant a 15-hectare forest to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the 44-hectare Vatican City.