According to the independent think tank Influencemap, Japanese carmaker Toyota is in the shady company of the big oil and gas firms regarding a negative climate policy. Its score (-42) is the same as Russian energy giant Gazprom. The worst company in the world putting profit over the planet is Chevron.
Toyota, which was listed most valuable car brand in the world last month, is in tenth place on Influencemap’s Corporate Climate Policy Footprint 2022. While this list mainly features energy production and utility companies, Toyota surfaces as the first company from the transport sector. The ranking identifies the 25 most negative and influential corporations globally on Paris-aligned climate change.
Better than last year
While it is barely a pat on the back for the company that gave the world the first ‘eco-friendly’ cars through hybrid technology more than twenty years ago, the outlook has been gloomier. In the same study from last year, the Japanese car company ranked as high as third. So, things are changing for the better – or the less bad.
“Toyota has improved its climate policy engagement transparency,” says Influencemap, “but continues to lead global automotive lobbying efforts to oppose policies to phase out internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.”
The only other carmaker on the list is the BMW Group, ranking 16th. London-based Influencemap refers to the Bavarian carmaker’s “advocacy efforts” against the EU 2035 zero-emissions CO2 target for cars and light-duty vehicles over the past year. Coincidently, BMW has a technical and industrial partnership with Toyota.
Both car companies’ policies on internal combustion engines influence their places on the scoreboard. As we reported earlier, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse has always expressed doubts about the ban on ICE cars, stating that it would “risk losing the middle class” and erode the competitiveness of the German car industry.
Over in Japan, carmakers like Toyota have repeatedly warned that people won’t buy EVs because of the high cost and charging obstacles. In their densely urbanized home country of Japan, implementing a charging infrastructure poses enormous challenges making hybrids that don’t have to be charged externally a more practical choice.
When the government talks about banning the combustion engine in 2035, it rules out hybrids. But Toyota has since then changed course and announced a sweeping EV offensive almost one year ago, launching 30 BEV models by 2030.
At the beginning of September, Greenpeace published a comparable study, the Auto Environmental Guide, which factors in even more comprehensive criteria like EV sales and energy management. It also highlighted how Japanese carmakers are struggling to support climate policies. Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all ranked at the bottom, with the latter finishing last.