Over the years, many celebrities have shed light on our warming planet in hopes of change. Some have gone the extra mile to do their part, proving that actions speak louder than words.
Pope Francis has also taken this notion to heart in an agreement with Volkswagen to transition to a completely electric fleet by 2030. The German automaker is providing the Vatican with 40 electric vehicles with the plan to gradually replace all existing vehicles with Volkswagen ID.family, an entire range of fully electric models.
Francis is no stranger to the topic, having made environmental protection a key priority during his tenure as pope. He has often promoted the transition away from “dirty energy” such as gas, coal, and oil.
As reported by Reuters, in a 2015 “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) letter, the Pope claimed the planet was “beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” The Pope also wrote, “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
In a recent follow-up to his 2015 encyclical letter, he calls for more affirmative action regarding global heating. Pointedly, Pope Francis compared the emissions of individuals in the United States to residents of China, saying Americans emit twice as much, blaming “the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model.”
The Volkswagen deal is an example of how influential individual change can be. Perhaps this will set the global standard.
VW’s Chairman of the Board of Management of Financial Services AG Dr. Christian Dahlheim said, “We are delighted to support the Vatican in this important project. This is something very special for us.”
As reported by the Washington Post, Cardinal Michael Czerny, a senior Vatican official, said, “This … is not just for Catholics or other pious and holy people. It is for the world community.”
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Pope Francis tweeted, “We must move beyond the mentality of appearing to be concerned about the climate crisis, while lacking the courage to effect substantial change. If the measures we could adopt now are costly, the cost will be all the more heavy the longer we wait.”
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