Toyota, Stellantis, and Volkswagen won't sign declaration on zero-emission vehicles.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is currently taking place in Glasgow, Scotland.
Both the US and China are in attendance and have unveiled a new emissions deal. This will likely be the most significant deal to come out of COP26, as the United States and China are the two largest emitters of carbon dioxide. According to Reuters, this deal is set to reduce harmful methane emissions, thereby protecting forests, and will also phase out reliance on coal.
"Together, we set out our support for a successful COP26, including certain elements which will promote ambition," said US climate envoy John Kerry about the deal between Washington and Beijing. "Every step matters right now, and we have a long journey ahead of us." China's Xie Zhenua added that "both sides will work jointly and with other parties to ensure a successful COP26 and to facilitate an outcome that is both ambitious and balanced." But there could still be issues with the agree
Politically speaking, this is considered a win for President Joe Biden as it restores America's leadership regarding climate change. Getting China to agree to a deal is a big step forward, considering it has made no significant climate commitments beyond being carbon neutral by 2060.
To get China to agree, the US had to sideline other current problems with China, including humanitarian issues. More specifically, the current treatment of China's ethnic Uighurs.
"We're honest about the differences. We certainly know what they are, and we've articulated them," said Kerry. "But that's not my lane here. My job is to be the climate guy and stay focused on trying to move the climate agenda forward."
In addition to this step forward in the political sphere which will affect the automotive landscape, a group of countries, companies, and cities signed a commitment to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040.
Toyota, Steallantis, and Volkswagen did not sign this agreement, nor did China, the USA, or Germany. Notable countries and cities that did sign include New Zealand, Poland, Britain, Seoul, and Sao Paulo. While the US as a country is not on board, California and New York are.
It's worth stating that the current US Government has been very EV-friendly. President Joe Biden is doing his part, wanting to electrify the presidential limo and the entire government fleet. Still, he is quite good at burnouts.
In China's defense, it is pouring billions into EV development, even partnering with Germany.
The Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Cars and Vans was signed by some big names in the auto industry. These include Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volvo. Volvo is even a step ahead, ready to go all-electric by 2030. Its XC40 Recharge is already available in the States.
The Executive Director of Greenpeace in Germany, Martin Kaiser, called the absence of some significant contributors "gravely concerning."
"To stop new fossil fuels, we need to cut off our dependency," he said. "That means moving on from combustion engines towards electric vehicles and creating clean public transport networks without delay."