COP26: Manufacturers hold out on deal to end car emissions by 2040

Major car manufacturers including BMW and Volkswagen have refused to sign a deal to end global car emissions by 2040.

The declaration is due to be unveiled at the COP26 summit in Glasgow in just a few days, but car manufacturers and major governments, such as the United States and China, have yet to sign the agreement.

The deal will look for a global collaboration between governments, businesses, and other organisations with an influence over the future of the automotive industry and road transport, to work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040 or earlier, or by no later than 2035 in leading markets.

However, Volkswagen has said it will not sign the agreement without the support Toyota, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers. The FT is reporting that, according to people close to the negotiations, the Japanese carmaker is reluctant to sign up due to the lack of support from key governments.

It has also been suggested that Toyota is refusing to sign the deal due to Latin America and African markets needing longer to make the transition to electric vehicles. The policy paper for the declaration “calls on all developed countries to strengthen the collaboration and international support offer to facilitate a global, equitable and just transition.”

BMW also refused to sign up, saying: “There remains considerable uncertainty about the development of global infrastructure to support a complete shift to zero emission vehicles, with major disparities across markets.”

VW stated: “While the overall global goal of reaching zero emissions . . . is non-negotiable, regions developing at different speed combined with different local prerequisites need different pathways towards zero emissions.”

The deal, which is due to be released today (Wednesday 10th November), has been signed by Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Volvo Cars, and Ford, among others.

However, UK officials did confirm that Germany, China and the US had not yet signed up to the pledge. The declaration has been supported by the United Kingdom, along with the likes of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.