Vatican aims to have a net-zero-emissions vehicle fleet by 2030

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Vatican zero-net -emmisions vehicle
Pope Francis speaks with representatives from BMW Italia at the Vatican Sept. 22, 2021. The German car company donated an all-electric zero emissions BMW i3 to the pope to support efforts toward environmental sustainability. (CNS photo/Vatican Media, courtesy of BMW Italia)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As part of a plan to reduce its CO2 footprint, Vatican City State has launched a program to replace its existing vehicle fleet with electric vehicles.

The city state’s “Ecological Conversion 2030” program includes making all its vehicles CO2-neutral by 2030, according to a press release from the Vatican City State governor’s office Nov. 15.

“Vatican City State has been dedicated for many years to promoting sustainable development through environmental policies that safeguard the environment and provide strategies for saving energy,” it said.

The governor’s office “is committed to reaching climate neutrality” through a wide variety of initiatives, it said, making the tiny nation state “one of the first nations in the world to pursue sustainability projects seeking innovative and sustainable solutions that will help change the way work is done by caring for the safeguarding of the common home” of creation.

Net-zero-emissions fleet

In an effort to have a net-zero-emissions fleet of vehicles by 2030, the Vatican has signed an agreement with Volkswagen to supply “just under 40 fully electric models” starting at the beginning of 2024, Volkswagen said in a press release Nov. 15.

Pope Francis stands with representatives of Volkswagen at the Vatican Nov. 15, 2023, from left to right: Marcus Osegowitsch, CEO of Volkswagen Group Italia; Imelda Labbé, member of the board of management for sales and marketing at Volkswagen Passenger Cars; and Christian Dahlheim, CEO of Volkswagen Financial Services AG. They delivered the first two of dozens of electric vehicles the company will supply to Vatican City State, starting in early 2024, to support the Vatican’s plans to have a net-zero-emissions fleet of vehicles by 2030. (CNS photo/courtesy of Volkswagen AG)

“At later stages, further zero-emission vehicles also from the Volkswagen Group brands will be progressively handed over until the entire fleet has been completely replaced by 2030,” the car company said.

Pope Francis greeted Christian Dahlheim, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, Marcus Osegowitsch, CEO of Volkswagen Group Italia, and Imelda Labbé, member of the board of management for sales and marketing at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Nov. 15 when they personally handed over the first two electric vehicles — two ID.3 Pro Performance2 models.

Carol Glatz

Carol Glatz writes for Catholic News Service.