Currently, major automakers are on the way to not achieving the necessary climate targets to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to new InfluenceMap report.
The report found that while companies mostly make climate public statements, those statements do not coincide with their actions in terms of future production plans or their lobbying efforts.
The report compares production forecasts with Roadmap of the International Energy Agency for 2050which details that by 2030, 57.5% of light car sales should be zero-emission. The report focuses on cars of the 2029 model year, as it is the last year before 2030.
According to the report, 11 of the 12 automakers (excluding Tesla) do not make future production or lobbying plans. It has been found that VW has an acceptable lobbying effort, but global production plans are scarce, while Mercedes ’production plans are good enough, but policy advocacy lags behind even American automakers. Current industry production forecasts could even put the world on a 2-degree Celsius warming path if more is not done to bring them in line with needed climate targets.
Not surprisingly, Japanese automakers are lagging behind the restoccupying the 3 bottom positions in the table. Nissan is slightly better than Honda and Toyota in this regard, but still lags behind all non-Japanese automakers. However, the report, which used data for March 2022, did not take this into account April Honda’s statement on increasing investment in EVthat could improve his situation.
The report notes that most companies tend to adopt and advocate for better climate policies in direct proportion to their future EV production goals, but some companies go beyond this trend. BMW, Stellantis and Mercedes have set relatively high targets (but not high enough, with the exception of Mercedes) for future production, but their involvement in lobbying efforts has been largely against climate action.
Although American automakers are now doing better in advocacy than most others (in a to break from the past), US policy is not close to what is required to achieve climate goals. As a result, automakers selling in the U.S. have much lower sales targets in the U.S. than elsewhere. For example, Toyota plans 49% BEV in the EU by 2029, but only 3% in the US. The percentage of EV production in the US in 2029 is projected to be lower than in China and the EU.
Automotive lobby groups continue to oppose climate action, and all of these companies (except Tesla) are owned and actively cooperate with at least one lobby group that actively fights against the rules on polluting vehicles (represented by the “ratio indicator” of each companies). .
Even Tesla had room for improvement by receiving a “B” rating for its lobbying efforts. This was mainly due to their relative lack of “intensity of engagement” on policy issues – while the company usually lobbies in the right direction, there are other companies that lobby much harder and more efficiently than Tesla. Although Tesla still stands out from the crowd as the best example of a carmaker covered by the report (their CEO – who recently called for a harmful climate to increase oil drilling – despite this).
The situation is even worse outside the main markets of the EU, China and the US, where automakers have unequivocal EV plans and expect to unload their polluting gas cars on the population, which is usually most negatively affected by global pollution.
It turned out that the production of SUVs is a serious threat to decarbonisation throughout the industry. Production forecasts show that the share of SUVs will increase from 39% to 47% in the number of cars, with all automakers planning to increase production of SUVs, increasing emissions from light vehicles and eating some improvements due to the gradual electrification of the fleet. SUVs were the second most important reason for the increase in emissions globally over the last decade.
The automotive lobbying has improved over the last two years when InfluenceMap reviewed this, and most industries are now getting better results than in 2020. Volkswagen (needless to say Voltsvagen?) showed the biggest improvement by raising their score from D- to C, while Ford and GM also improved significantly. This suggests that the industry may respond and continue to improve, but it remains to be seen whether this improvement will happen soon enough. Despite this, the industry’s lobbying activities continue to be a major obstacle to combating climate change through policy.
These climatic goals are necessary avoid the worst effects of climate change, including the possibility of positive feedback, which only complicates the control of warming. The need to maintain warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is not a political thought, but the result of predictions by thousands of scientists that we are at a point where we can still avoid the worst and most costly effects of climate change.
And we cannot negotiate or lobby our way out of this. In these negotiations, our opponent is physics, and physics doesn’t care how many dealers you have to argue, how many engineers you need to retrain, how many battery recycling plants you need to build, or any other traditional excuses the car industry has made for their complacency. His only concern is that you need to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere, and he won’t budge or compromise, no matter how hard you lobby it and no matter how difficult it is to comply.
We need to continue warming below these target temperatures. We caused it, we are the only ones who can stop it, so we have to get to work.
Simply put, automakers and governments (and consumer demand, see SUVs) need to do better than current production plans and policies show, we need to stop lobbying against progress, and the industry needs to take action – today. We need to do more. End of discussion.
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