Hundreds of city and regional authorities have signed contracts to help reduce new car emissions by 2040, but the contract lacks some support for the world’s largest car players and the largest markets.
The pledge announced at COP26 on Wednesday covers a quarter of the world’s automobiles and is endorsed by manufacturers such as Daimler, Ford, General Motors and BYD in China, as well as governments such as Canada and Chile.
Despite months of pressure from the UK, four of the world’s five largest automakers (Volkswagen, Toyota, Renault-Nissan Alliance and Hyundai Kia) are unregistered.
China, the world’s largest car market, did not sign. The second-largest United States also did not join the deal by Tuesday night, but individual states such as California, New York and Washington, and cities such as Dallas, Charleston, Atlanta and Seattle supported the deal. Brazil’s Sao Paulo and Argentina’s Buenos Aires have also joined the pledge.
The agreement promises that signatories will end sales of new emissions-producing vehicles in “major markets” by 2035 and globally by 2040.
Lease Plan, the world’s largest car leasing company, has joined the deal, signed by Uber, and promised zero emissions for all vehicles by 2030.
Daimler Chair Ora Carenius said the deal “shows that there is a fundamental idea that something must be done and that it can be done.” He said the missing signatories, including automakers BMW and VW, and the German government, did not remove the effects of the statement.
“Each company has to make its own choices, but all the colleagues I know are moving forward at a very fast pace,” he told the Financial Times. “Few countries are putting as much money, resources and brain power into change as the German automotive industry.”
Mercedes-Benz owners have already promised to sell only electric cars by 2035 if possible, and will only launch battery models after 2025, so supporting the deal is a bit extra takes.
Other car supporters, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo Cars, had already made plans for electricity to be included in the timeline.
However, UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the deal was “a turning point in the transition to clean road transport.”
“We are nearing the end of the internal combustion engine, the only problem is when,” said Nigel Topping, Britain’s head of climate change at the United Nations.
Cities that signed up in countries that lacked national-level commitments still sent a “strong market signal,” he said.
Still, the lack of universal support was ridiculed by environmentalists.
“For this announcement to be credible, all major automakers, including Germany and the United States, must be part of it,” said Juan Pablo, head of the Greenpeace delegation at COP26. Osornio said. “It’s a critical time this week, and it’s important for key leaders to signal that fossil fuels are on the way out and are no longer a viable investment.”
“Companies that didn’t participate in’Transport Day’are behind the scenes,” said Helen Clarkson, head of the Climate Group, a nonprofit organization.
In another deal, COP26 truck makers, including Scania, and fleet operators, including DHL, also promised zero emissions of all new cars by 2040. US government.
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