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Automakers and Climate Policy Advocacy: A Global Analysis

New InfluenceMap analysis finds that negative lobbying by the world’s largest automakers is putting global climate targets at risk and threatening the transition to electric vehicles. This report analyses the climate policy engagement strategies of fifteen of the largest global automakers in seven key regions (Australia, EU, Japan, India, South Korea, UK, US). It shows how even in countries where major climate legislation has recently passed, such as the US and Australia, the ambition of these policies has been weakened due to industry pressure.

  • All fifteen automakers, except Tesla, have actively advocated against at least one policy promoting electric vehicles. Ten of the fifteen showed a particularly high intensity of negative engagement and scored a final grade of D or D+ by InfluenceMap’s methodology. Toyota is the lowest-scoring company in this analysis, driving opposition to climate regulations promoting battery electric vehicles in multiple regions, including the US, Australia and UK. Of all automakers analyzed, only Tesla (scoring B) is found to have positive climate advocacy aligned with science-based policy.
  • The research highlights how automakers have employed their industry associations to aggressively push back on ambitious climate rules globally. For example, Australia’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standards, announced in March 2024, were watered down following intense advocacy from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). The final policy is estimated to result in a 50% reduction in emissions by 2029, rather than the 60% reduction that was initially proposed. In the US, the industry group Alliance for Automotive Innovation successfully drove calls to weaken proposed GHG emission standards. Every automaker included in the study except Tesla remains a member of at least two of these groups, with most automakers a member of at least five.”

See also The US doesn’t have enough power lines. AI, EVs, and Joe Biden’s push for domestic manufacturing are putting more pressure on aging power grids. The nation also needs double the transmission capacity to meet Biden’s goal of 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity. To get more transmission lines up, FERC just overhauled rules for new projects — including a mandate that grid operators start anticipating energy needs at least 20 years in advance.”

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