Ahead of G7, climate leadership on transport needed

SYDNEY, Friday 19 May 2023 – Australia must urge Japan and other G7 nations to deliver climate action in step with the requirements of climate science, including a rapid transition away from fossil fuelled transport, Greenpeace Australia Pacific said today.

It comes as leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economies — France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the European Union — will meet in Hiroshima, Japan, for their 49th summit. 

“Global leadership is crucial for cutting planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions. The transition to clean, affordable electric transport will be vital in these efforts,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokesperson Joe Rafalowicz said today.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific urged Australian officials in attendance to encourage their Japanese counterparts to step up their climate efforts, by pressuring Toyota to stop producing fossil-fuelled vehicles globally by 2030 and speed up its shift to cleaner electric vehicles.

It follows news reports in 2022 that Toyota lobbied Japan’s government to make clear it supported hybrid vehicles as much as battery electrics, despite their vastly different environmental impact.

“If Japan wishes to be seen as a climate leader, it should be concerned at any perception that Toyota – one of the world’s most prominent anti-climate lobbyists – is deciding its climate agenda,” Mr Rafalowicz said. 

Back in Australia, the Federal Government is currently undertaking a rapidfire consultation on the strength of fuel efficiency standards – the first step to opening up the Australian market to more EVs and ensuring that demand for them can be met.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific holds there is a strong risk Toyota will use its established tactics to distract, weaken, and delay effective fuel efficiency standard legislation in Australia. 

As recently as last week, Toyota representatives in Australia reportedly told reporters that the car maker would support the government’s fuel-efficiency standard but would argue an emissions limit did not need to rely on electric cars alone.

“Hybrids are outdated and rely on polluting, imported and expensive petrol. Equating petrol-burning hybrids with genuine electric vehicles is disingenuous at best and misleading at worst.

“Strong fuel efficiency standards would help bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the world and accelerate the switch to affordable transport options, powered by homegrown wind and solar.

“Greenpeace will continue to oppose any efforts by Toyota and car lobbyists to weaken crucial climate efforts,” Mr Rafalowicz added.


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