His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, presided over the handover ceremony in the presence of Marco Toro, Managing Director for Nissan Italy; Sally Axworthy, British Ambassador to the Holy See; and Seji Okada, Japanese Ambassador to the Holy See. Nissan’s Sunderland factory joined by video-link.
The Nissan Leaf was produced in Sunderland in the north-east of England. Nissan is committed to producing vehicles sustainably: the production of the Nissan Leaf, as well as the car itself, is expected to reach net zero emissions within two years.
Sally Axworthy, British Ambassador to the Holy See, said:
‘Transitioning to electric vehicles will be an essential part of our collective efforts to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. In the year in which the UK will host the climate summit, COP26, I am really delighted that the Vatican is greening its vehicle fleet with the help of Nissan. This sets an excellent example for us all.
‘The UK has committed to reach net zero by 2050 and will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030. The vehicle’s production in Sunderland shows how technology can bring sustainable economic growth and dignified employment’.
Seji Okada, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See stated:
“The Japanese Prime Minister Suga declared that Japan aims to realise a decarbonised society by reducing greenhouse gas emission to zero as a whole by 2050, and that the Government of Japan will work for the utilisation of decarbonised power sources, such as renewable energy. But, he added, “global decarbonisation cannot be achieved through the efforts of one country alone, it is a challenge that requires the whole international community to act in one”.
As Pope Francis called for urgent action on climate change, it is particularly significant that the Vatican will gradually replace its service vehicles with an all-electric fleet, setting an example for all other countries of the world. The contributions of companies like Nissan will be vital to achieving this aim”.