Vatican Teams Up with VW for Eco-Friendly Drive Toward Carbon Neutrality
In early November, Pope Francis, in a 7,000-word document titled "Praise God," issued a poignant warning about the impending environmental crisis, emphasizing the undeniable signs of climate change. This message was addressed to "All people of good will on the climate crisis."
Acknowledging internal differences within the Catholic Church on the issue, the Pope underscored the urgency of addressing the environmental challenges. He criticized the U.S. for having per-capita emissions twice as high as China and seven times greater than in poor countries.
In line with its commitment to environmental responsibility, the Vatican recently joined forces with German carmaker Volkswagen AG to transition its auto fleet to electric vehicles (EVs). This collaboration, falling under the Vatican’s “Ecological Conversion 2030” plan, aims to pursue sustainable, carbon-neutral projects and technologies within the city-state.
The Vatican, with its "strategic partner" Volkswagen, plans to gradually replace its auto fleet with EVs by 2030. The partnership includes medium- and long-term leases, indicating Volkswagen's role in the renovation of the state’s car park. The Vatican administration has also pledged to increase the number of charging stations and ensure the city state’s energy needs are exclusively met by renewable sources.
This eco-friendly initiative aligns with previous environmental efforts within the Vatican, where Pope Benedict XVI, dubbed the "green pope," spearheaded sustainability projects, including the installation of solar panels on the main Vatican audience hall.
In a separate development, Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume expressed optimism about launching an electric car priced at around $22,000 by the latter part of the decade, emphasizing the company's responsibility to bring affordable electric vehicles to a wider market.
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