Although Pope Francis has commented on environmental issues before, Thursday's encyclical, entitled Laudato Sii – 'Praised Be', "On the Care of Our Common Home" will be the first time that the high-level teaching document is to be devoted entirely to this issue. It comes ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris later this year.
Reading through the papal document, which has already been released and translated into Polish, Rzeczpospolita commented that the "anti-carbon" document may actually be "anti-Polish," given Poland's heavy dependence on coal as a heating and energy source, and its high rank among global CO2 emitters. "As Rzeczpospolita has discovered, Francis devotes a lot of space to the issue of coal mining and the related environmental degradation; he draws attention to the fact that countries whose energy industry is based on coal damage the environment by carbon dioxide emissions, and calls for limitations in its use," the newspaper notes.
Rzeczpospolita noted that "Poland is among the top twenty emitters of carbon dioxide globally. For years, we have been at the forefront in this respect among the EU countries." And while the country has made promises to cut emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030, the newspaper is skeptical that this is even possible. "If between 1990 and 2000 carbon emissions fell by 19 percent, in the subsequent years up to 2013, they have grown by 6 percent." The paper notes that despite many promises by the government over the years about reducing the use of coal and the introduction of clean technologies, little very little has actually been done.