A new Cambridge study has credited the Catholic Church with an important role in the fight against climate change. If the Pope appealed to the tradition of meatless Fridays, millions of tons of CO2 could be saved every year.
According to a new study by the University of Cambridge, Pope Francis could have a significant impact on the climate. According to a recently published study by the university, if the head of the church were to reintroduce meat-free Fridays, as was the custom in the Catholic tradition in the past, millions of tons of CO2 could be saved each year.
“With more than a billion followers around the world, the Catholic Church is in a very good position to help mitigate climate change,” said study leader Shaun Larcom. Francis has repeatedly spoken out in favor of radical answers to climate change. “If the Pope reinstates the Meat-Free Friday commitment for all Catholics around the world, it could be one of the most important starting points for cheap emissions reductions,” Larcom said.
The researchers used figures from the United Kingdom as a basis: When the Catholic bishops of England and Wales called for a return to meat-free Fridays in 2011, around a quarter of the approximately six million Catholics changed their eating habits accordingly. According to the study, this saved around 55,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year. This shows that, even if only a minority of Catholics followed the Pope’s call, CO2 emissions could be significantly reduced, Larcom emphasized.
The meat industry is considered one of the main drivers of climate change. One kilogram of beef produces around 13.3 kilograms of CO2, while one kilogram of poultry and pork produces 3.5 and 3.3 kilograms respectively.
Meat-free Friday is a traditional form of abstinence in the Catholic Church. It goes back to the idea of bringing a sacrifice, such as a meat fast, based on Good Friday, when Jesus Christ was crucified.