The Vatican issued a statement Monday urging efforts to counteract the energy crisis avoid reinvigorating the fossil fuel industry.
Read by Msgr. Mauro Lalli at the 2022 Mediterranean Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Jordan, the Holy See warned that climate change constitutes “a common threat to the security and stability” of the whole Mediterranean region.
While not elucidating what sort of security threat climate change poses, the text goes on to suggest that the population of the Mediterranean region must finds ways to keep warm and pay its bills this winter without the assistance of cheap oil and gas.
The “severe lack of energy supplies… will likely put further strain on many families and industries already affected by the economic crisis,” the Vatican statement acknowledges, but this crisis does not justify a return to fossil fuels.
“Irrespective of the concrete threat posed by the war in Ukraine, Pope Francis has underscored the urgent need to strengthen joint efforts to build energy security and transition away from fossil fuels,” the statement says.
In its message, the Holy See praises the OSCE’s valuable work in the Mediterranean region to intensify cooperation to address “the effects of climate change” and thereby advance “common security.”
The Vatican also claims that “the global security landscape, including energy and climate security, has changed dramatically since Russia launched its war of aggression in February this year.”
While the energy security landscape has clearly been impacted by Russia’s war on Ukraine, the war’s effect on “climate security” is not so self-evident.
The Holy See’s statement follows on the heels of growing criticism that many European nations have only themselves to blame for their current energy predicament, since they voluntarily curbed their domestic energy production in the name of a “green transition” and thus made themselves dependent on Russian fuel.
As European nations scramble to figure out how to meet the energy scarcity that threatens to leave many citizens out in the cold and unable to pay their fuel bills, the Vatican’s message seems to be: “Let them eat solar.”