The birthplace of Saint Francis — Assisi, Italy — is now working to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030, the city’s mayor Stefania Proietti has revealed.
Image by Jim Linwood (some rights reserved)
The path towards the achievement of that goal will be achieved through the implementation of various energy efficiency and energy saving measures — as well as the promotion of plug-in electric vehicle use. Accompanying these actions, the mayor will also be pursuing a strategy of tree planting around the city’s industrial zone and the promotion of greenery planting.
The move follows on the city’s commitment last month to “shun” investments into fossil fuel firms and to shift towards renewables — as part of an international coalition of 40 Catholic organizations pledging to do the same.
“The most important thing is (encouraging) people’s belief that adopting a new lifestyle is important. One person’s action will not have much impact (on climate change), but 7 billion actions can change the world,” Proietti explained.
Speaking about the work of the renowned 13th century monk, Proietti stated that good stewardship of nature “is the Assisi responsibility. If we have a different message, then we are not (being true) to our history.”
Reuters provides more: “Proietti, who is a professor of energy systems at Rome’s Guglielmo Marconi University, said she faces major challenges bringing about change in the city. Its architectural heritage is one: houses cannot put solar panels on their roofs in this UNESCO world heritage site. The biggest challenge, though, is changing people’s attitudes, she said.
“… She plans to expand the city’s heating grid that runs off a combined natural gas-fed heat and power plant in the valley below. The energy-efficient plant produces electricity and the resulting heat is piped to people’s homes and city buildings. She also plans to plant 1,000 trees around the valley’s industrial zone, encourage the town’s inhabitants to grow more plants in their homes, and promote the use of electric cars.”
Notably, the Franciscan monks that serve as custodians of the city’s basilica, where Saint Francis is buried, are currently working to convert the sites that they manage — the basilica, the seminary, lodgings, etc. — to low-energy lighting, and are working to gain approval for the installation of solar PV panels.
Since the monks began the conversion process back in 2015, associated emissions have dropped by around 75%.
“We want the Sacro Convento and the whole complex here to be an example to the city, the country, the world,” explained Father Enzo Fortunato, the head of the Sacro Convento’s press office. “It’s important for us to respect the environment, because ultimately this is to respect man. When you’re saving the environment, you’re creating an environment for people (to live and work in).”
Commenting on the need for global action, Enzo noted: “As the saint of ecology and the environment, St Francis transcends all religions.”
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