Lobbying in US and Europe has tried to block and delay moves to cut emissions, study shows

Global carmakers are among the leading opponents of action on the climate crisis, according to exclusive analysis of the way major corporations frustrate or undermine initiatives to cut greenhouse gases.

The research for the Guardian reveals that while the automotive industry releases public statements that support climate initiatives, such as increased electrification, it has been pouring millions of dollars through industry bodies into lobbying efforts to challenge attempts to tackle global heating in the past four years.

This is despite repeated warnings that the planet is in the grip of a global climate emergency.

The study was undertaken by InfluenceMap, an independent research group, as part of the polluters project.

The evidence was gathered by assessing each company’s size and lobbying activities. Researchers assessed tens of thousands of statements, policy announcements and lobbying campaigns by the 250 biggest investor-owned industrial corporations and trade associations.

InfluenceMap used a definition of what constitutes lobbying drawn from the UN-backed Guide For Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy.

The research revealed that since 2015, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Daimler, BMW, Toyota and General Motors have been among the strongest opponents of regulations to help countries meet the 1.5C warming limit in the Paris agreement.

In the four years since then, lobbying from the car industry in the US and Europe has attempted to block, delay and frustrate initiatives to regulate and reduce emissions from the transport sector – which is responsible for 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – and slow the move to electric vehicles, the report says.

Edward Collins, author of The Carbon Policy Footprint, said:

“Corporations have a profound impact on the climate change agenda not only through physical emissions but through influencing of the climate change policy agendas being introduced by governments around the world.

“The sector has dug in hard to dampen rising vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. Through their lobbying, auto companies have delayed the transition of a sector that sucks up a huge proportion of oil demand globally.”

Read more: The Guardian