Catholic church looks at relation of energy to justice and peace

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A new book from the Catholic Church looks at how the concepts of peace and justice are related to energy.

According to the report from the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana presented Energy, Justice, and Peace: A Reflection on Energy in the Current Context of Development and the Protection of the Environment on April 11 in Rome. The purpose of the book was to consider how peace and justice align with energy, and “how energy can both threaten and serve integral human development”.

Speaking in Rome, Cardinal Turkson said, “We receive testimonies of violence and oppression because of the energy from bishops’ conferences. This proves how much energy is indispensable for everyone, and how much a contribution to a collective reflection was needed.”

Church buildings are adorned with solar panels. According to some estimates, there are more than 2000 church institutions that use solar energy to generate electricity and heat. The first PV system installed on a church was on Magdeburg Cathedral in 1999. a later program called the German Federal Environmental Foundation led to 463 Protestant and 251 Catholic buildings being fitted with panels. And, in 2008, the Vatican was fitted with its own 222 KW solar panel.

Anecdotal evidence within the UK suggests that the prevalence of solar panels on churches has increased Martin Cotterill, managing director and founder of UK-based Sundog Energy, said, “I think the demand for PV overall is increasing and churches are looking at it like any other building. They often have good roofs for this type of system.”

He added, “A church building is physically like any other. A lot of people are interested in it for the environmental benefits. And when there are the benefits of making money, whether it’s a church hall, town hall, or village hall, the benefits are very attractive. It makes a huge difference to the viability of these buildings by giving them a steady income that can make a massive difference.”