The Vatican may consider divesting its holdings in fossil fuels without a categorical commitment, a Catholic church official has stated, despite Pope Francis’s call for bold action to fight climate change and global warming. “The statement – made at a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the pope’s recently released encyclical on the environment – is likely to disappoint climate activists, who have praised Pope Francis’s essay stressing that climate change is mostly a man-made problem.” [The Guardian]

The Russian energy giant Gazprom announced on Wednesday that the company had suspended deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine because of a pricing dispute. “Gazprom has not received advance payment for deliveries of natural gas in July, Alexey B. Miller, the chief executive of Gazprom, said in a statement on Wednesday, and had cut the flow of natural gas to Ukraine immediately.

“Gazprom will not deliver gas to Ukraine at any price without prepayment,” Mr. Miller said.” [The NY Times]

Scientists in Switzerland have announced a clean-energy breakthrough on Wednesday revealing a cheaper, solar technology that splits water molecules to create clean-burning hydrogen fuel. “The solar panel design will make it cheaper to produce hydrogen, but a simple version won’t be available for average citizens for at least 10 years, scientists said.

Splitting water molecules to create hydrogen allows the sun’s energy to be more easily stored to generate electricity or power clean cars. The discovery has major implications for climate change, as improved solar energy would reduce fossil fuel dependence. [Reuters]