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Several car manufacturers, large economies, and major cities around the world signed on Wednesday a declaration to work towards phasing out new car and van sales running on fossil fuels by 2040. But the pledge is far from global, despite signatories aiming to work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero-emission globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets. The declaration lacks the signatures of the world’s two biggest carmakers and major car markets such as the United States and China.
“As cities, states, and regional governments, we will work towards converting our owned or leased car and van fleets to zero emission vehicles by 2035 at the latest, as well as putting in place policies that will enable, accelerate, or otherwise incentivise the transition to zero emission vehicles as soon as possible, to the extent possible given our jurisdictional powers,” says the declaration signed by Canada, Norway, the UK, Sweden, and Austria, among others. Cities such as Barcelona, Rome, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Santa Monica, as well as Washington state, California, and New York, also signed the pledge.
“As automotive manufacturers, we will work towards reaching 100% zero emission new car and van sales in leading markets by 2035 or earlier, supported by a business strategy that is in line with achieving this ambition, as we help build customer demand,” say the carmakers part of the declaration, which include U.S. carmakers Ford Motor and General Motors, plus Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz, among others.
The third of Detroit’s Big Three, Stellantis, is not part of the pledge, nor are the world’s first and second biggest automakers in terms of sales – Toyota and Volkswagen.
Greenpeace criticized the pledge as falling “far short of what’s needed to align with 1.5 degrees.”
“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,” said Martin Kaiser, Executive Director of Greenpeace Germany.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com