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Ahead of G7 in Hiroshima, U.S. Activists Call on Government of Japan to Rein in Toyota’s Global Anti-Climate Efforts

More than 6,500 call on Japan and Toyota to lead transition to zero emissions vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Activists called on the government of Japan on Tuesday to put an end to anti-climate lobbying efforts by Toyota Motor Corp., delivering more than 6,500 petitions at protests in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and at the Consulate in Los Angeles. 

“Toyota has not only dragged its feet on ditching fossil-fuel powered cars and replacing them with zero-emission vehicles, it has lobbied to slow the adoption of emissions-free vehicles across the globe—endangering our health and our planet,” said East Peterson-Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner at Public Citizen.

At the events, activists from Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Jobs to Move America, and Mighty Earth called on the government of Japan to honor its commitments to the international community by pressuring Toyota to stop production of fossil-fueled vehicles globally by 2035. Further, groups urged the government to push the automaker to end its lobbying against electric vehicles globally, and encouraged it to embrace building zero emission vehicles sourced with fossil-free, equitable, and responsible materials that protect human rights and labor rights.

Last summer, the government of Japan was set to phase out the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, but, after a meeting with then-CEO Akio Toyoda, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) intervened to ensure that the government did not fully ban fossil-fueled cars.

“Japan cannot credibly claim it is leading the international community towards global decarbonization while acquiescing to Toyota’s efforts to delay EV transition,” said Erika Thi Patterson, auto supply chain director at Public Citizen. “As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota has the market-moving power to shift the industry and global supply chains toward a fossil-fuel free future.”

Under the company’s previous CEO, Toyota interfered with EV policymaking in the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. Only after the company’s efforts were exposed in the UK did Toyota back off of a threat to end all manufacturing in the country over its EV policy.

In a global ranking of harmful, anti-climate lobbying by InfluenceMap, Toyota ranked the automaker with the worst impact on climate policy for two years running. 

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