Vatican signs deal with Volkswagen for an all-electric car fleet

The Vatican announced this week that it was partnering with the auto manufacturer Volkswagen as part of its broader initiative “Ecological Conversion 2030” to introduce an all-electric, zero-impact car fleet in the Vatican by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a goal established by the pontiff in 2020. 

“The Volkswagen Group, which aims to become a zero-carbon company by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles by 30% by 2030, is the first strategic partner for the project to renew the car fleet of the state with Volkswagen and Škoda brand cars through the medium and long-term rental formula,” according to the official press release of the governorate of Vatican City State. 

The Vatican’s efforts are not limited to overhauling its fleet but will also include the construction of its own network of charging stations for electric vehicles, both in Vatican City State as well as in the extraterritorial areas, a reforestation program, and the importation of energy coming exclusively from renewable sources — the last of which was achieved in 2019, according to Vatican News. 

Pope Francis has made ecological conservation one of the defining themes of his pontificate. But the pope has often lamented the tepid response from developed countries in implementing measures to curb the most dramatic effects of anthropogenic climate change, despite the actions called for by international treaties such as the 2015 Paris Climate Accords. 

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