Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Screws Are on the Auto Industry to Shape Up

A federal judge in California today rebuked the auto industry's attempt to block California and 16 other states from setting tough new limits on global warming pollution from automobiles, calling these efforts "the very definition of folly."

Meanwhile, the head of ACEA, the car group in Europe wrote this in Financial Times: "Sir, As the chief executives of 13 auto companies producing and marketing our products around the world, and board members of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), we write to give support and encouragement to the UN-sponsored ministerial talks on climate change opening in Bali, Indonesia, this week. We think it vital that they work towards the kind of comprehensive agreement that our planet needs."

Even an idiot can spot the disconnect. On one hand the automakers claim that they really do care about climate change. On the other hand they want to change on their own terms, and in their own time, and don't want to be told what to do.

Meanwhile, other countries are exerting their own pressure. Ireland has decided to tax owners of gas guzzlers a massive 2000 euros annually. Similarly in Israel. Same in France. Why? Same reason - shift the market away from large 4x4s and luxury cars.

If the car industry won't change then they are asking for regulations and tax measures to artificially shift the market.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Porsche, VW and Daimer win the worst Lobbying Awards

Serves them right! If you want to know what cynacism looks like, follow Volkswagen, Porsche and Daimer as they fight against any meaningful CO2 emissions regulations by the EU. They were named winners of a public poll for the 'Worst EU Lobbying' Award 2007 at a ceremony in Brussels hosted by the award organizers Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, LobbyControl and SpinWatch.

Their joint lobbying offensive, designed to water-down and delay the mandatory CO2 emission reduction targets proposed by the Commission after voluntary targets were not met, was deemed to be the worst and most deceptive by voters across Europe.

"BMW, Daimler and Porsche are the worst among the car industry lobbyists," explains Erik Wesselius from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). "When the Commission proposed compulsory CO2 targets, the car companies reacted immediately with a lobby campaign full of misinformation and scaremongering. Decision-makers were manipulated with grossly exaggerated threats of factory closures and job losses. The outcome of this year's 'Worst EU Lobbying Awards' shows that European citizens strongly object to this type of manipulative and dishonest lobbying." More than 6600 people across Europe participated in the online poll to decide the winners of the awards.

Well, well. You can watch a YouTube clip as they are presented with flowers as the executives learn they have won an award.