Countries, cities, carmakers commit to ending fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040

As part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and control global warming, a coalition of governments, firms, and cities pledged on Wednesday to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040.

However, the world’s top two automakers, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG p.DE), as well as major vehicle markets China, the United States, and Germany, did not sign up, illustrating the difficulties in making the transition to zero emissions.

The Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Cars and Vans, released at climate talks in Glasgow, saw the organizations commit to “rapidly” accelerate the transition to low-carbon vehicles, with the goal of greening leading markets by 2035.

Ford (F.N) and General Motors (GM.N) were among the headline signatories, as were India, the world’s second-most populous country, and big corporate vehicle purchases such as Leaseplan, which rents 1.7 million automobiles in 30 countries.

According to Martin Kaiser, Executive Director of Greenpeace Germany, the absence of major economies and producers is “gravely alarming.”

A spokesman for Germany’s environment ministry said the government would not sign on Wednesday because it had not reached an internal agreement on a “marginal component” of the promise, namely whether renewable energy-based fuels consumed in combustion engines could be part of the solution.

According to estimates from the International Energy Agency, cars, trucks, ships, buses, and planes account for around a quarter of all worldwide carbon emissions, with road vehicles accounting for the majority.

Volvo (VOLVb.ST), Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz, China’s BYD Co Ltd (002594.SZ), and Jaguar Land Rover, a unit of India’s Tata Motors Ltd, were among those that signed up (TAMO.NS).

New Zealand and Poland were among the countries that signed up, joining a number of countries that have previously pledged to make all new vehicles and vans zero-emission by 2040 or earlier, including the United Kingdom, which is hosting the COP26 summit.

Uber (UBER.N) and Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and the South Korean capital Seoul and Brazil’s Sao Paolo are among the other big corporations and cities on board.

Volvo, which has already committed to being entirely electric by 2030, said it would anticipate a carbon price of 1,000 Swedish crowns on all future projects as countries try to agree on a means to price carbon globally.

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