As major shareholders urge Toyota to improve its climate commitments, Greenpeace Australia Pacific today urged Toyota not to push for weak vehicle pollution targets in Australia.

It follows reports that overnight shareholder groups have urged to commit to a comprehensive, annual review of its climate-related lobbying, concerned that “Toyota is missing out on profits from soaring EV sales”. 

“Toyota’s own shareholders share our concerns that the carmaker is blocking progress on electric vehicles through its fossil fuel lobbying, despite clear demand from consumers for cleaner, more affordable electric vehicle options both at home and abroad,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Joe Rafalowicz said today. 

“Yet instead of embracing the shift, disappointingly, we’re seeing more of the same from Toyota executives who reportedly say they will block the proposal. 

“It’s what we’ve come to expect from a carmaker that has become one of the world’s most aggressive anti-climate lobbyists.”

Fuel efficiency standards = the “true test” of Toyota’s climate commitments

The news comes as the Federal Government is undertaking a consultation regarding the strength and efficacy of fuel efficiency standards regulating climate pollution from cars, which – if effectively legislated – would ensure wider choice of more efficient and zero emissions vehicles for Australian consumers. 

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, and warned policymakers to be wary.

“Both at home and abroad, Toyota’s stubborn insistence on petrol-fuelled cars is holding consumers back from cleaner, more affordable transport. Toyota needs to realise that demand for electric vehicles is here and now. Instead, they are determined to put their petrol-fuelled profits ahead of Australian consumers and the planet.”

Greenpeace globally is working to expose anti-climate lobbying from the auto and oil industries, and we will continue holding those who seek to block progress to account.

Notably Toyota is the largest member of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), whose ‘secret plan’ to slow the electric vehicle transition in Australia was exposed in August 2022 in the Sydney Morning Herald. 

Soon after, Greenpeace issued an extensive report into Toyota’s stalled climate efforts, which too found the car manufacturer has been fighting against effective climate policy all over the world, including in Australia.

“When the Government moves to legislate fuel efficiency standards – likely later this year – we can expect that Toyota will be among those trying to stand in the way of progress. We urge all policy-makers to prioritise people and the planet ahead of Toyota’s profit motive,” Mr Rafalowicz added.

A copy of the shareholder co-filing resolution can be found here.