Vatican offsetting Amazon Synod’s carbon emissions

The Secretary General of the Synod of bishops on the Amazon, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, says the Vatican will offset the Synod’s carbon emissions.

The Synod is expected to generate carbon emissions of 572,809kg. The forestry licenses for the reforestation of ​​50 hectares in the Amazon basin will offset the emissions.

Baldisseri says air travel accounts for about 438,373kg of the carbon emissions, with 134,435kg being generated through other activities.

These measurements have been based on the anticipated consumption of energy, water and travel by participants. They include the production of waste and promotional materials.

Bishops from the nine South American countries that share the Amazon are taking part in the Synod.

They aim to highlight the serious threat of destruction hanging over the world’s largest rainforest.

One of two Irish participants, Columban missionary Fr Peter Hughes, says he hopes the synod will set out a new view of ecology.

This would be based on Christian faith in God as the creator of a “common home”, he says.

Hughes says the Church should firmly place itself alongside the region’s indigenous people. This includes defending their territorial rights and way of life.

“The life of the [Amazon] people is intrinsically, inherently part of the territory. If the territory is injured, the people are injured,” he says.

In August, as fires blazed across the Amazon, Pope Francis described the forest as vital for the Earth.

He appealed for prayers that the fires would be brought under control.

At that time, Francis told pilgrims in St Peter’s Square that the Amazon’s green “lung of forest is vital for our planet”.

Deforestation would have grave repercussions on the world’s environmental health, he said.


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