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Vatican Closes Deal with Volkswagen for Electric Fleets

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The Vatican has joined forces with auto giant Volkswagen to spearhead its ambitious "Ecological Conversion 2030" initiative. The collaboration aims to transition the Vatican's entire vehicle fleet to all-electric, zero-impact cars by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a pivotal objective set by the pontiff in 2020.

Photo credit: Beatrice Gemmi

Photo credit: Beatrice Gemmi


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
11/17/2023 (2 weeks ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Vatican, Volkswagen, Ecological Conversion 2030, Carbon Neutrality, Electric Vehicles, COP28

The strategic partnership designates the Volkswagen Group as the primary ally for this transformative project. The German automaker, committed to becoming a zero-carbon company by 2050 and reducing its vehicles' carbon footprint by 30% before 2030, will provide Volkswagen and Ĺ koda brand cars through a medium and long-term rental arrangement, as outlined in the official press release from the governorate of Vatican City State.

Beyond the overhaul of the vehicle fleet, the Vatican's green initiatives encompass the establishment of a dedicated network of electric vehicle charging stations within Vatican City State and extraterritorial areas. Additionally, a reforestation program and the exclusive importation of energy from renewable sources contribute to the comprehensive sustainability agenda. Notably, the Vatican achieved the latter milestone in 2019, according to reports from Vatican News.

Pope Francis, a staunch advocate for ecological conservation, has consistently highlighted environmental concerns during his pontificate. Expressing concern over the inadequate response from developed nations to combat anthropogenic climate change, the Pope underscores the urgency of implementing measures outlined in international agreements, including the 2015 Paris Climate Accords.

In October of the current year, Pope Francis released the second installment of his influential 2015 climate encyclical, Laudato Si'. Within the apostolic exhortation titled Laudate Deum, the Pope rebuked climate change skeptics and issued a stark warning about the world's precarious state, emphasizing its potential collapse and imminent breaking point.

Further showcasing the Vatican's commitment to global climate initiatives, Pope Francis engaged in discussions with Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, president-designate of the United Nations' COP28 UAE. The meeting centered around the pivotal role faith leaders and faith-based organizations can play in advancing the U.N.'s climate objectives.

The Conference of the Parties (COP), an annual gathering of U.N. member states and non-state organizations, focuses on collaborative efforts to reduce global carbon output and transition to renewable energy sources. In a historic announcement earlier this month, Pope Francis declared his attendance at COP28, marking the first time a pope has participated since the conference's inception in 1995.

Scheduled to take place at Dubai's Expo City from November 30 to December 12, COP28 will see Pope Francis present for three days, from December 1 to 3. This historic engagement underscores the Vatican's commitment to actively contribute to international efforts addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

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