The Fall of the Major Carmakers at COP 26

In the wake of COP 26, four major carmakers announced they would not be backing a pledge to transition their company’s vehicle production to zero emissions by 2050. The companies include Toyota, BMW, VW and Daimler. In response, Greenpeace has called for a boycott of these brands in an effort to urge them back into the conversation.

The carmakers cited concerns about the lack of charging infrastructure and customers unwilling to buy electric cars, as the driving factors behind their decision not to sign on. Greenpeace noted it has been working closely with cities around the world for over a year to help address these issues, but that more needs to be done by manufacturers. The organization is asking supporters to boycott these brands and contact them directly to express their concerns.

Greenpeace said in a statement, It’s hardly surprising that car companies are failing to take the steps needed for electric transport. The science is clear: by 2050 we need to be phasing out combustion engines to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The call was driven by concern about how global warming could affect future generations. Greenpeace added, Industralized countries need to begin now to prepare for the significant societal changes now needed if we are going to protect our planet and people.

Many of these changes will involve choices consumers can make in their daily lives, such as how they travel and what they buy. While Greenpeace is asking supporters to boycott BMW by refusing to purchase its electric or hybrid cars, it is not asking people to boycott BMW dealerships.

They noted that dealerships are part of the solution because they can become hubs for electric car charging and using solar power to charge batteries.

The call was made as part of a broader Greenpeace campaign called Highway to 2020. It aims to bring together two separate movements: one advocating for an accelerated transition to 100 percent renewable energy and another calling on cities, companies and people to divest from fossil fuels.

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said, People need to speak up on climate change and demand that we drive 100 percent renewable energy on the road to 2020. Signing on to an electric car is a great first step but it’s not enough as global warming speeds ahead.

BMW spokesperson Ken Sparks responded in a statement, We believe customer demand for electric vehicles is growing and we are investing accordingly. We remain committed to a sustainable mobility future, however this does not solely rely on battery driven cars but also hydrogen fuel cell technology – both integrate seamlessly into the BMW Group’s current product portfolio.