The Vatican switches to electric vehicles
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Pope Francis has pledged that the Vatican will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and said the city-state will intensify actions to oversee the protection of the environment, work towards rational use of natural resources and plant more trees.

    The Vatican also said it intended to switch over all its service cars using internal combustion engines to electric or hybrid vehicles.

    “Soon, we will start collaborating with automobile manufacturers who can provide electric vehicles for evaluation,” said Roberto Migucci, director of workshops and equipment for the office governing the Vatican.

    Migucci described electric vehicles as “perfect” for the Vatican, which covers a square area of no more than 44 hectares.

    The Vatican is expanding its network of charging stations for cars. Several manufacturers of electric vehicles have already presented vehicles as a gift to the Pope. And the Pontiff recently appeared in a popemobile operating on hydrogen.

    A modified version of the Toyota Mirai was created specifically for Pope Francis’s 2019 visit to Japan. The vehicle produces only water vapour in terms of emissions and can run for 500 km on a single charge.

    More than 2,000 solar panels have been installed on the roofs of Vatican buildings, as well as a series of high-tech solar collectors for heating and cooling.

    Since his election in 2013, Francis has constantly raised environmental issues and has pledged to engage the Vatican in the fight against climate change.

     “The effects of the ongoing pandemic and climate change—which are relevant not only for the environment but also for the spheres of ethics, society, economics, and politics—weigh most heavily upon the lives of the poor and vulnerable,” the Pope said in a video message to the virtual climate summit this month.

    Last year, the Vatican banned the use of disposable plastic bags. The city state reprocesses 65 % of its waste and plans to increase that figure to 75 % by 2023.

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