Vatican plans to replace car fleet with electric vehicles in Volkswagen deal

15 November 2023, 20:34

Pope Francis
Vatican Pope. Picture: PA

Pope Francis has made caring for the planet a hallmark of his papacy.

The Vatican has signed an agreement with German carmaker Volkswagen to gradually replace its auto fleet with electric vehicles as part of efforts to reduce its carbon emissions.

The announcement did not give any details on the value of the deal or set a timetable for completing the switch to electric vehicles.

The partnership falls under the Vatican’s Ecological Conversion 2030 plan, which aims to pursue sustainable, carbon-neutral projects and technologies in the city state in the centre of Rome.

Pope Francis has made caring for the planet a hallmark of his papacy and will become the first pope to address a UN climate conference when he attends the upcoming Cop28 meeting in Dubai.

Pope Francis
There are no details on a timetable for completing the switch to electric vehicles (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Last month, in a prelude to what he will likely say in Dubai, the Argentine Jesuit issued an urgent update to his landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment.

In it, he challenged world leaders to commit to binding targets to slow climate change, warning that God’s increasingly warming creation was fast reaching a “point of no return”.

But even before Francis, Pope Benedict XVI was known as the “green pope”, in part because of his sustainability initiatives in Vatican City, which included the installation of solar panels on the main Vatican audience hall.

A statement on Wednesday from the Vatican City State administration said it was committed to pursuing net-zero emissions technologies and sustainable transport projects to reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicle fleet. Francis currently moves around the Vatican in a Fiat.

The Vatican said its partnership with Volkswagen and its Skoda brand involves medium and long-term leases, calling the carmaker its top “strategic partner for the project to renovate the state’s car park”.

The administration said it intends to gradually replace its fleet with electric vehicles by 2030, will increase the number of charging stations throughout the territory and ensure the city state’s energy needs are provided exclusively by renewable sources.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Police officers pursue a deer down a hallway at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Toms River, New Jersey

Deer’s escape after breaking into US school captured on police bodycams

Police officers stand by the tail of a small plane that made an emergency landing in Villejuif, outside Paris

Small plane makes emergency landing in Paris suburbs

The mayor of Kyiv has claimed president Zelenskyy is becoming increasingly autocratic.

‘Zelenskyy is becoming an autocrat’ Kyiv mayor Klitschko says, as he warns Ukraine will soon be 'no different to Russia'

Actor Jonathan Majors arrives at court in New York

Jonathan Majors assault trial starts with competing versions of confrontation

Manuel Rocha when he was US ambassador to Bolivia

Former career US diplomat charged with secretly spying for Cuba for decades

A UK city has been crowned the prettiest in the world, according to a study.

UK city crowned ‘prettiest in the world’ - putting Venice in second place

Aitana was created by an AI modelling agency.

‘Spanish influencer’ created entirely by AI generates its modelling agency £9,000 a month with 200,000 followers

In his victory speech in November, Mr Milei promised Argentina that "the reconstruction of Argentina begins."

'It's not a joke, it's a provocation!': Argentina launches another attack on Britain amid Falklands row

Binyamin Needham died fighting in the Gaza strip

British-Israeli teenager killed while fighting for the IDF in Gaza

Police near the Eiffel Tower after the attack

French investigators probe mental health of Paris attacks suspect

Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo

Guinea-Bissau’s president dissolves parliament after failed coup

Flooded streets in the town of Katesh

At least 47 dead and 85 injured after heavy rain and landslides in Tanzania

Municipal workers clear snow from pavements in Moscow

Disruption on roads and at airports as Moscow hit by heavy snow

Rescuers at the copper mine in Chingola

Hopes raised for survivors after more than 30 buried by landslide at Zambia mine

A US military CV-22 Osprey takes off from a base in western Japan

Divers find wreckage and remains from Osprey aircraft that crashed off Japan

Two people on a motorcycle ride past as Mount Marapi spews volcanic material

Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupts for second day as 12 climbers remain missing