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Automakers Must Take Drastic Action To Meet Climate Goals, Report Says

The global automotive industry is on course to overshoot the carbon emission reductions needed to keep global warming to 1.5°C by 75 per cent, according to a report.

The ‘Pathway Report’ – commissioned by electric vehicle (EV) makers Polestar and Rivian – uses open-source data to model the current trajectory for emissions stemming from the car industry.

Passenger vehicles currently account for 15 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes these emissions need to be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030 to stay on track with climate goals, but the sector is currently far from meeting this.

Without urgent action, it will have spent its full emissions budget by 2035, the report said, although “a major redirecting of resources and focus” could still bring it in line with Paris Agreement goals.

The report outlines immediate, clear actions that car manufacturers can take between now and 2030, including some that can be triggered immediately.

It urges the industry to accelerate the transition to EVs by investing in manufacturing capabilities, as well as implementing a firm end date for fossil-fuel car sales globally.

The UK plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel passenger cars by 2030, with the EU and the US proposing similar legislation for 2035.

The report also calls on the sector to build out renewable energy supply to global grids to allow EV’s to reach their full carbon reduction potential through green charging.

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It also says that manufacturing supply chains need to be decarbonised by switching to low-carbon materials and investing in renewable energy solutions for production methods.

Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability at Polestar, said: “Car companies may be on different paths when it comes to brand, design and business strategies and some won’t even admit that the road to the future is electric.

“I believe it is, and that the climate crisis is a shared responsibility, and we must look beyond tailpipe emissions. This report makes clear the importance of acting now and together. There’s a clear cost to inaction, but there’s also a financial opportunity for innovators who find new answers to the challenges we face.”

Anisa Costa, Rivian’s chief sustainability officer, added: “Our hope is that this report lays the groundwork for the automotive industry to collaborate in driving progress at the pace and scale we need and ideally inspiring other industries to do the same. Together, I’m confident we can win the race against time.”

According to the report, recent investment trends have seen capital increasingly shifting towards sustainable investment. In 2021, global sustainability investments totaled $35.3tr, representing over a third of all assets in five of the world’s biggest markets.


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Source: E&T

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