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Pope Francis with Volkswagen executives at the Vatican. (Volkswagen website)

The Vatican has announced that it is partnering with the car manufacturer Volkswagen 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 Pope Francis in 2020. Source: CNA.

“The Volkswagen Group, which aims to become a zero-carbon company by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles by 30 per cent 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 a press release from 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.

In October, the Holy Father released the second instalment to his 2015 climate encyclical Laudato Si’. In Laudate Deum, the Pope criticised climate change sceptics and warned that “the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point”.

Earlier this month the Pope announced that he would be attending the COP28 international climate meeting, making him the first Pope to do so since the conference began in 1995. 


Vatican signs deal with Volkswagen for an all-electric car fleet (By Matthew Santucci, CNA)


Vatican launches sustainable mobility programme ‘Ecological Conversion 2023’ (Vatican News)