Global Climate Strike in Bangkok. © Chanklang Kanthong / Greenpeace
UN Climate Change Conference

COP26: More than expected, less than hoped.

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Glasgow, Scotland – A raft of transport announcements on zero emissions vehicles landed at COP26 this morning but fell far short of what’s needed to align with 1.5 degrees. 

Not only were major economies like the US, Germany, China, Japan and manufacturers including VW, Toyota and Hyundai absent from the signatories of the “declaration on zero emission cars and vans”, the scale of ambition in the deal itself was disappointingly weak. 

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 60% of global new car sales need to be battery electric by 2030 with sales of new internal combustion engine cars phased out by 2035 to align with 1.5 degrees. However, this scenario relies on biofuel production being quadrupled – the sustainability of which is highly questionable, if not impossible to achieve sustainably. Without an increase in biofuels, the IEA argues a transition to electric vehicles would need to happen far more quickly. 

The deal on the table today pledges a timeline of 100% electric vehicles globally by 2040 but “in leading markets” only by 2035. 

Martin Kaiser, Executive Director of Greenpeace Germany, said: 

“Transport is one of the biggest causes of global fossil fuel emissions. To keep the goal of 1.5 alive, the final text agreed at Glasgow must commit to phasing out new oil, but we won’t get there if our economies stay stuck in the past, reliant on pumping cars and trucks full of fossil fuels.

“What’s gravely concerning today is that major economies like the US, Germany, China, Japan and manufacturers like VW, Toyota and Hyundai could not even bring themselves to sign a declaration on electric vehicles that promises less than what’s actually required to maintain climate security.

“To stop new fossil fuels, we need to cut off our dependency. That means moving on from combustion engines towards electric vehicles and creating clean public transport networks without delay.”

ENDS

Contact:

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours) or

Greenpeace UK Press Team: [email protected]

Notes to editors: 

Yesterday, Greenpeace Germany filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen (VW), the world’s second largest car manufacturer, for failing to decarbonise the company in line with the 1.5°C goal agreed in Paris:
https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/50625/greenpeace-sues-volkswagen-for-fuelling-the-climate-crisis-and-violating-future-freedom-and-property-rights/

On November 4, Greenpeace East Asia published the Auto Environmental Guide 2021 which assessed global top ten automakers’ ICE phase-out progress and Toyota is ranked the worst: https://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/press/7006/toyota-ranks-last-among-global-carmakers-for-decarbonization-greenpeace-report/