Large automakers refuse commitment to end polluting vehicles by 2040

Large automakers refuse commitment to end polluting vehicles by 2040

The world’s three biggest automakers have refused to sign an agreement to stop production of combustion vehicles by 2040.

Toyota, Volkswagen and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance did not commit to a pact made by automakers, countries and cities this Wednesday (10), during COP26 (UN Conference on Climate Change).

The agreement is supported by brands such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Volvo, which had already announced targets to stop the manufacture of cars with internal combustion engines.

In the communiqué, the signatories promise to sell only vehicles with zero emissions of greenhouse gases from 2040 — with 2035 being the deadline for the main markets.

“We will support efforts to achieve the road transport breakthrough announced by world leaders, which aims to make zero-emission vehicles the new normal, making them affordable, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2030,” it says.

Road transport is responsible for about 20% of all man-made pollution. In a separate commitment, the UK has indicated that it plans to cease production of heavy diesel vehicles between 2035 and 2040.

“This day represents a very special moment, (…) governments around the world are committed to selling 100% emission-free cars, vans and lorries,” said British Transport Minister Grant Shapps.

Despite the support of some countries, large automobile markets, such as Brazil, China, the United States, Germany and Japan, also did not sign the promise. Cities such as São Paulo, Los Angeles and New York individually declared support.

For the executive director of Greenpeace Germany, Martin Kaiser, it is gravely worrying that the main countries and manufacturers have not signed the pact.

“To end fossil fuels, we have to cut our dependence. That means abandoning combustion engines in favor of electric cars and creating clean public transport networks as quickly as possible,” he said.

Toyota defended its decision, claiming that its current business model makes that commitment difficult.

Kohei Yoshida, head of Toyota’s electric vehicle division, told AFP there were “many ways” to work carbon neutrality beyond the pact.

Volkswagen’s chief executive, Herbert Diess, also spoke on the subject, rejecting the promise made by the automakers at COP26.

“It may still make sense to use synthetic fuel cars in Latin America in 2035,” he said.

In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Diess stated that such elimination is not possible. “We need raw materials, new mines, a circular economy. Battery capacity and the construction of renewable energy networks across Europe will be the bottleneck,” he added.

Volkswagen has committed so far to produce all-electric vehicles in Europe from 2035, and to have a CO2-neutral fleet worldwide by 2050.

See who signed the pledge


  • Avera Electric Vehicles
  • WORLD Auto
  • Etrio Automobiles Private Limited
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Gayam Motor Works
  • General Motors
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • MOBI
  • Quantum Motors
  • Volvo Cars


  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Cape Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • The Savior
  • Slovenia
  • Finland
  • Win
  • Holland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Kenya
  • United Kingdom
  • Dominican Republic
  • Rwanda
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay

Cities, states and regional governments

  • Akureyri
  • Ann Arbor
  • Atlanta
  • Australia’s Capital Territory
  • Barcelona
  • bologna
  • Bristol
  • British Columbia
  • Buenos Aires
  • California
  • Catalonia
  • Catamarca Province
  • Charleston
  • Dallas
  • Florence
  • Gangwon Province
  • Jeju Province
  • Peace
  • Lagos
  • The Angels
  • Nova York
  • New York (city)
  • northern Ireland
  • Quebec
  • Reykjavik
  • Roma
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Monica
  • São Paulo
  • Scotland
  • Seattle
  • Sejong City
  • Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • Sikkim Government
  • Southern Chungcheong Province
  • Ulsan Metropolitan City
  • Victoria
  • Gales
  • Washington (US state)


You May Also Like

Recommended for you

Immediate Peak