Volkswagen and Greenpeace Make Truce over CO2 Reduction Targets

by Jon LeSage, con­tribut­ing edi­tor, Deal­er Digest Dai­ly

SITUATION:
It only makes sense that Volk­swa­gen came to terms with rad­i­cal activist envi­ron­men­tal group, Green­peace

Volk­swa­gen was already mov­ing in the direc­tion of reduc­ing its car­bon diox­ide (CO2) emis­sions in the con­text of strict stan­dards in Ger­many and the Euro­pean Union, and its own sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals

But once you get Green­peace on your back, things can get ugly – just ask a few own­ers of fish­ing boats in Japan or Korea

Or an elab­o­rate upris­ing last year in Eng­land, where Green­peace activists donned emer­gency work­er out­fits and gat­ed off 74 Shell “petrol” sta­tions in Edin­burgh and Lon­do

It was a protest against Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Artic that end­ed in 24 pro­tes­tors being arrest­ed

Oth­er envi­ron­men­tal groups might have sent let­ters of protest or held press con­fer­ences, but Green­peace is quite skilled at rais­ing hack­les and get­ting atten­tion

SIGNIFICANCE:
Its Volk­swa­gen cam­paign was a bit more civ­il – two years ago the activist group issued a two-part video lam­poon­ing Volkswagen’s “Star Wars” themed com­mer­cials

Volk­swa­gen AG is tak­ing on the chal­lenge of now being the green­est glob­al automak­er, bypass­ing Toy­ota

The automak­er has been empha­siz­ing high-mileage prod­ucts like its Volk­swa­gen XL1, which will get 261 miles per gal­lon

Volk­swa­gen CEO Mar­tin Win­terko­rn said the com­pa­ny is very com­mit­ted to reach­ing the tar­get, but it is depen­dent on cus­tomers accept­ing the automaker’s advanced alter­na­tive pow­er­trains

All of this comes through a two-year dis­cus­sion between Volk­swa­gen and Green­peace, and Win­terko­rn recent­ly held his first direct meet­ing with Green­peace chief exec­u­tive Brigitte Behrens

Dis­cussed Volk­swa­gen reach­ing emis­sions tar­get set by Euro­pean Union leg­is­la­tion of an aver­age of 95 grams of car­bon diox­ide (CO2) per kilo­me­ter by 2020 for its fleet

Behrens said she sup­ports tar­gets set by Volk­swa­gen as a deci­sion in favor of cli­mate pro­tec­tion, and the automaker’s dec­la­ra­tion is also a sig­nal for stricter exhaust emis­sions reg­u­la­tions in the growth mar­kets of the US and Chi­na

Volk­swa­gen and Green­peace have been through many dia­logues over the past two years, some of it con­fronta­tion­al. Both sides did agree on reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions in road traf­fic as a key fac­tor in cli­mate pro­tec­tion

SOURCE: The Detroit Bureau

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1 Comment

  • Ding says:

    “Volk­swa­gen AG is tak­ing on the chal­lenge of now being the green­est glob­al automak­er, bypass­ing Toy­ota”

    So Toy­ota is still num­ber 1 for green­est glob­al automak­er or VW? Or is this biased PR for VW?

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