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Toyota to review its lobbying against climate and electric cars after pressure from investors

Toyota says that it is reevaluating its anti-climate lobbying practices as it promotes carbon neutrality goals after receiving pressure from investors.

We have often discussed how Toyota has been a laggard when it comes to all-electric vehicles as the Japanese automaker has been more heavily investing in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

But the automaker has even gone further by using its lobbying power to promote anti-climate policies.

Toyota was famously one of the few automakers who sided with the Trump Administration in their legal fight against California trying to impose their own stricter emission regulations.

The Japanese didn’t stop there, and more recently, it warned the new US federal government against promoting all-electric vehicles.

That’s despite the automaker promoting its own aspiration to become carbon neutral.

Now, Toyota is feeling some pressure to change this strategy from large funds, which are investors in the company.

Reuters reports that Toyota is actually reviewing its anti-climate lobbying practices:

Toyota “will review public policy engagement activities through our company and industry associations to confirm they are consistent with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement,” it said in a statement, adding that actions will be announced by the end of this year.

Jens Munch Holst, chief executive officer of Danish pension fund AkademikerPension, one of the funds backing the effort, said:

“This move must not be a PR exercise but instead signal a clear end to its role in negative climate lobbying which has given it a laggard status,”

Munch Holst added:

“Right up until now, the company has repeatedly undermined climate action, from opposing the U.K. government’s ban on internal combustion engines by 2030 to opposing car fuel economy standards in the U.S.,”

The fund is prepared to sell its shares of Toyota if the company doesn’t change its lobbying practices.

Toyota says that it will release the findings from its review at its next general meeting.

Electrek’s Take

What is there to review exactly? You guys are lobbying on the wrong side. Change sides or stop pretending to be pro-climate.

I just saved you a lot of money on that review, Toyota. You are welcome.

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