Pope outlines energy policy: reduce energy consumption, redistribute green funds

In Pope Benedict XVI's new encyclical, he urges developed countries to reduce their environmental footprints and redistribute resources to nations who aren't able to afford "green" technology.

Pope Benedict XVI has been called a lot of things, but "the green pope" is a new one.

In his new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, Benedict outlines his own energy policy, urging developed countries to reduce their environmental footprints and redistribute resources to nations who aren't able to afford "green" technology.

Benedict argues for conservation, and writes:

"The technologically advanced societies [that is us] can and must lower their domestic energy consumption, either through an evolution in manufacturing methods or through greater ecological sensitivity among their citizens."

Further, Benedict urges innovation, writing of his concern for "countries [that] lack the economic means either to gain access to existing sources of non-renewable energy or to finance research into new alternatives." The problem? "Some States, power groups and companies hoard non-renewable energy resources," representing "a grave obstacle to development in poor countries."

His solution? "A worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them."

(You can read the full text here.)

Benedict has a reputation for being liberal on green issues. Last year, he installed solar panels on roofs in the Vatican to generate electricity, and this year he did the same to his home in Germany.

The Vatican also recently installed high-tech solar collectors to help heat and cool buildings, and is officially the first carbon-neutral state, thanks to forests that offset the Vatican's carbon footprint.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com