One of the surprises of Pope Francis’ new encyclical on climate change was that he criticized so-called “cap and trade “ systems of pollution credits.

California has such a system, and the funds produced by the selling of the pollution credits are the subject of considerable fights.

But the Pope doesn’t like such credits. In the encyclical, he sees them as a response to climate change by a global capitalist system he deplores. He prefers spiritual and moral renewal – and a turn away from consumption – as a response to that.

The Pope’s views on credits have been criticized by environmentalists and environmentally minded economists. But they could still have significance here. AB 32 remains a hot button, and it’s conceivable that its critics could use the Pope’s words to target the law.

It will be interesting to see if the subject comes up in September, when Pope Francis visits the U.S.