COP26: Volkswagen and Toyota to ditch car manufacturers net-zero pledge, easyJet commits to CO2 redu


It’s Transport Day at COP26 but the world’s two largest car makers have pulled out of an industry-wide pledge, while easyJet PLC has made new green commitments.

Volkswagen and Toyota have not signed a global agreement to slash new car emissions over the next two decades.

READ: UK to tighten ESG rules in ambition to be “the world’s first net-zero financial centre”

The ‘Route Zero’ deal, announced on Wednesday in Glasgow, counts Genereal Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover and Chinese group BYD among others, alongside several countries, cities and local governments.

Aviva plc and NatWest Group PLC (LSE:NWG) were the only two financial institutions providing capital for the transition to zero-emission vehicles in line with achieving 100% new car and van sales being zero-emission in leading markets by 2035.

The missing giant carmakers are a blow to one of Boris Johnson’s four main goals for the United Nations summit, namely progress on the cars industry.

The pledge was initially hoped to set 2035 as the target date, but the final version was pushed to 2040, Sky News reported – although it will remain 2035 in “leading markets”.

The UK previously committed to stopping selling new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and all HGV are expected to reach net-zero emissions ten years later.

Meanwhile, easyJet vowed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while meeting an interim carbon emissions reduction target for 2035, though the latter is yet to be defined.

The announcement is part of UN-backed campaign ‘Race to Zero’.

“We have a responsibility to minimise the impact of our flights and we are working very hard to make this happen; from efficient flying and fleet renewal to being the only major European carrier that is offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights on behalf of all its customers,” said chief executive Johan Lundgren.

Shares in the airline dipped 1% to 624p on Wednesday at noon.

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