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Japanese Carmakers Stall Climate Policy

Japanese automotive companies Toyota, Suzuki and Mazda are the most active lobbyists against the global rollout of electric vehicles (EV), according to InfluenceMap. New research in which the think tank compared 15 car giants also showed Japanese firms were the least prepared for the energy transition, with all three falling far short of an EV rollout consistent with a 1.5°Cdegree warming. US carmakers, meanwhile, topped the list. Texas-based Tesla – the only 100% electric carmaker included in the survey – had the most positive impact on climate policy, with a ‘B’ grade, followed by Detroit-based Ford and General Motors, which both scored a ‘C’ grade. German carmakers Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW scored below their US counterparts on lobbying activities, but were far ahead in transitioning from traditional carmaker to EV manufacturer. Although the International Energy Agency deems that 66% of new manufactured cars must be electric by 2030 to meet net zero by 2050 and halt global warming, only Tesla, Mercedes and BMW are currently on track to meet this goal. The Japanese carmakers, in particular, are way off track: 30% of Mazda’s cars, 29% of Toyota’s and just 10% of Suzuki’s are projected to be electric by 2030. “Automakers’ substandard EV plans and negative advocacy strategies are driving the climate crisis,” said Ben Youriev, Director at InfluenceMap. “Without an immediate gear change from them and their industry associations to reform their climate policy engagement, they will continue to weaken and delay climate rules globally, steering the world to the brink.”


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