NYT — “Vatican penance: Forgive us our carbon output”

It’s official — buying carbon credits to offset CO2 emissions is like doing penance for sins, according to a high-level Vatican official. An article in The New York Times today, “Vatican Penance: Forgive Us Our Carbon Output,” focused on the Vatican’s plans to become the world’s first carbon-neutral state — by planting trees along the Tisza River in Hungary. The article notes:

After the Vatican agreement was announced, Msgr. Melchor Sánchez de Toca Alameda, an official at the Council for Culture at the Vatican, told the Catholic News Service that buying credits was like doing penance. “One can emit less CO2 by not using heating and not driving a car, or one can do penance by intervening to offset emissions, in this case by planting trees,” he said.

Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church is trying to best its upstart competition — the Church of England in its “Shrinking the Footprint” campaign — see my earlier post about that —“Instead of praying, buy fluorescent.”