Automakers are disappointed with President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate accord – and some will back the agreement without him.
Two of the U.S.’s vehicle manufacturing institutions issued statements opposing Trump’s decision, and electric carmaker Tesla’s chief exited the president’s economic advisory panel over it.
“We believe climate change is real, and remain deeply committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our vehicles and our facilities,” announced Ford Motor Co. “Our commitment to sustainability is why we’re investing so heavily in electrification and adding 13 new electrified vehicles to our lineup.”
General Motors issues a similar statement: “GM will not waver from our commitment to the environment and our position on climate change has not changed. International agreements aside, we remain committed to creating a better environment.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been attending economic advisory meetings with Trump and other executives. He decided to leave the panel after hearing about Trump’s decision.
“I am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” he posted on Twitter. Related: Is Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Too Ambitious?
It would seem that other automakers’ strategic plans on climate change and clean air would be in line with GM, Ford and Tesla, including Toyota, Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, Nissan, Renault, Volvo Trucks, BYD, and others.
Internationally renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio has become a corporate spokesman for Chinese electric carmaker BYD. He’s also narrated and produced a 2016 documentary on the global impact of climate change, “Before the Flood.”
Automakers are taking China’s electric vehicle market very seriously, with companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, GM, and Ford preparing to launch several new EVs there. That’s typically done with Chinese joint venture partners.
China was by far the largest electric car market in the world last year, making up more than 40 percent of global EV sales and more than double the amount sold in the U.S., according to an International Energy Agency report
China may be playing a more important role in supporting the climate change accord now that the U.S. has bowed out. Related: Is $75 Oil Still Possible?
California Governor Jerry Brown has been spending this week meeting with Chinese government officials, encouraging them to follow the state’s climate change mandate and zero emission vehicle rules and incentives.
On Tuesday, Brown met with China’s president Xi Jinping to discuss climate change policies. The timing of the previously planned meeting was right, days after Trump’s decision – and through indications that China is preparing to take a more commanding role in fighting climate change.
“California’s leading, China’s leading,” Brown said. “It’s true I didn’t come to Washington, I came to Beijing. Well, someday I’m going to go to Washington, but not this week.”
By Jon LeSage for Oilprice.com
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