Car manufacturers urged to ‘get out of the slow lane’ at COP26 summit

Electric car charging point

Leading car manufacturers will not sign a global deal to cut CO2 emissions by 2040.

The COP Route Zero pledge was declined by Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen and there was a lack of support for the proposal from the US, German and Chinese governments at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Ford, Mercedes, Volvo and JLR are among those who have committed to cease fossil-fuelled vehicle manufacturing by 2040, or 2035 in “leading markets”.

It was hoped a deal would be struck to reach 100% zero emission new car and van sales by 2035, but this was pushed back by five years during negotiations.

Jaguar Land Rover, which have four development and manufacturing sites across the Midlands, said: “Electrification is at the core of Jaguar Land Rover’s business strategy, Reimagine, delivering pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030, as the creator of the world’s most desirable modern luxury vehicles.”

Their aim is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across their supply chain, products and operations by 2039.

BMW, which makes engines at Hams Hall in Birmingham said: “We have zero emission technology ready today. However, BMW is not able to sign this document at this point as there remains considerable uncertainty about the development of global infrastructure to support a complete shift to zero emission vehicles, with major disparities across markets.

BMW has a company goal of total climate neutrality by 2050 and all MINI and Rolls-Royce models built from the early 2030s onwards will be battery electric vehicles only.

Toyota, which has a manufacturing plant in Burnaston said: “Under our Environmental Challenge 2050 it is our mission to aim for carbon neutrality based on the principles of “Mobility for All” and “Leave No One Behind”. To do this, we will provide the most suitable vehicles, including zero emission products, in response to the diverse economic environments, clean energy and charging infrastructure readiness, industrial policies, and customer needs in each country and region.”

CEO of Climate Group, Helen Clarkson, has urged absent organisations to get involved. “The climate cannot wait for you to get onboard with zero-emission vehicles. It’s time to get out of the slow lane before you miss the exit.”