24 Sept 2015 UPDATE: Q&A: WTF the Volkswagen diesel scandal?
The force is with you and together you made Volkswagen (VW) do a handbrake turn on improving the efficiency of its cars. Something they said they could not do until you cried BS to make VW turn away from the Dark Side!
VW said they couldn't reduce their car CO2 emissions (brace yourself for the boring but important bit):
"…The 95 g/km Long-Term-Target for 2020 is the result of a political decision taken last year. It is not based on sound impact assessment nor on a realistic appreciation of the costs and technical progress necessary to meet the goal within the timescale…" -- Volkswagen 2010
But 526,000 Greenpeace supporters across the planet have forced VW to change its policy and its cars.
For the past two years VW refused to back a key European law which would make cars more efficient and help reduce our dependence on oil. VW were a major obstacle against strong targets. As the biggest and most powerful car company in Europe they used their might to lobby politicians and block progress.
But after more than half a million people stood against them, a parody of their Star Wars advert went viral across the internet, thousands of activists dressed as storm troopers protested at their dealerships and on the streets, and direct actions at car shows across Europe, VW have caved in to pressure from across the globe and announced they will meet and support climate targets.
This victory couldn't have happened without you. Back in June 2011 when we started this campaign, VW preferred to remove our videos from Youtube rather than talk about the efficiency of its cars or how it was lobbying against strong EU climate laws.
VW has now publicly agreed to live up to its promises to be the world's greenest car company, setting an example for the rest of the industry.
This is what we can achieve when we act together!
This win is crucial. Pollution from cars is a major cause of climate change, disrupting weather patterns and endangering the Arctic. The effects will be truly global, with countries like China – where the market for new cars is still on the rise – looking to Europe for innovations. This is truly the beginning of the end of the combustion engine as we know it.
Inefficient cars have driven the world's thirst for oil, which is increasingly coming from unconventional sources. Slashing car emissions won't just cut pollution - it will reduce the demand for oil worldwide. That means there will be less incentive to drill in fragile environments like the Arctic.