Roads Rebellion protest against Toyota's dirty lobbying

Roads Rebellion activists burst into car showroom to hold a “die-in” in protest at Toyota’s dirty lobbying tactics

Roads Rebellion protested at the flagship Toyota showroom in London today to demand Toyota stop its dirty lobbying and align with climate science at its annual shareholders meeting this week.

Protestors performed a 'die-in' to highlight our peril in the face of continued car manufacturing in a climate and ecological crisis.

The London protest comes a week after a 110,000 signature petition to stop its anti-climate lobbying was handed in at Toyota’s European HQ in Brussels.

Toyota is aggressively aiming to expand personal car ownership rates globally, spending over $1 Billion a year on advertising in the US alone. Meanwhile, climate scientists say we need to rapidly reduce emissions to zero if we want to maintain a climate safe for human habitation and a healthy biodiverse ecosystem.

Toyota is the world’s largest car manufacturer. Every year it adds over 9 million new cars to the roads, equivalent to building 12 new coal-fired power plants. That’s 45 million tonnes of CO2 a year, from cars that will stay on the road for the next 10-20 years. Moreover, Toyota is leading the global car industry’s drive to increase the number of private vehicles sold each year: Global car sales for 2022 are forecast to grow to around 84 million vehicles - equivalent to building 104 new coal-fired power plants.

According to Polluta, Toyota is lobbying hard to weaken CO2 regulation, and prevent governments from passing laws that place clear deadlines to end the sale of fossil fuelled vehicles. Here in the UK, reported in a recent Times article, Toyota threatened the government with closure of manufacturing, inflicting thousands of job losses, unless the government scraps its plan for a 2030 end date for selling polluting ICE (petrol and diesel) cars. This is not acceptable.

Toyota is not just the worst lobbyist amongst car companies - it has been ranked 3rd worst anti-climate lobbyist globally across all sectors by research group InfluenceMap - behind only the oil giants Exxon and Chevron.

Road transport is the highest CO2 emitter in the UK, with mass private ownership of private cars expanding along with the traffic inducing road expansion programme (RIS3), so tackling this sector is a key part of tackling our climate impact, and is supported by the vast majority of the British public.

A spokesperson for Roads Rebellion said:

"Toyota is pushing more and more cars onto our roads when we must be investing in the most energy efficient forms of mobility: public transport and active travel. We need to talk about reducing car use in the media and in Government. Toyota should lead on this and lead on the alternative solutions."

“Corporate giants cannot threaten democratic decisions to take urgent climate action.”