Join the rebellion and turn VW away from the dark side

Posted by jamie — 28 June 2011 at 6:18am - Comments
VW The Dark Side
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
VW has joined the Dark Side. Join the rebellion to bring the company back

It’s not every day you’re called to step up in defence of your planet – but today is one of those days. A few moments ago we launched a new global campaign to change Volkswagen by turning them away from the Dark Side, and we need your help.

Despite the green image it likes to portray, VW is at the heart of a group of companies lobbying against new laws which we need to cut CO2 emissions, reduce our oil use and protect places like the Arctic from climate change.

Only a rebellion can stop them – a mass of people from all across the globe –demanding that they change. We need you to be part of that rebellion.

So sign the rebel manifesto to turn VW away from the Dark Side.

On the streets across Europe our activists are busy  showing Volkswagen for what it really is: a regressive company using its influence to prevent us getting the laws we need to protect our planet and boost our economy.

And VW's political lobbying has dire consequences for fragile environments like the Arctic, where sea ice is already melting fasting than predicted. Our best chance of stopping climate change and saving the Arctic is to reduce the CO2 emissions that heat up our planet and threaten everything from biodiversity to agriculture.

We know how dangerous the situation is getting. Greenpeace activists have only just returned from the Arctic, where they were putting their bodies in the way of the new oil rush, where companies like Cairn Energy are drilling in the deep seas under the newly-melted ice.

But VW doesn’t just spend money on lobbyists.

Volkswagen has been running an ad campaign showing a cute kid in a Darth Vader costume turning on one of their cars. It's been a big hit but for a company that’s essentially threatening the future of all of our children, we thought it was ripe for a remake.

The symbolism of Star Wars is far better suited to the kind of destruction Volkswagen’s policies threaten to wreak on our planet, than to a fluffy advert to sell more of their cars.

Which – incidentally – are not as efficient as you might think. For every ‘greener’ vehicle VW sells, it shifts around 15 others which emit much more C02. Volkswagen adds a huge price mark-up for its greener vehicles - way above the cost of the technology – as it tries to cash in on your green conscience.

Right now, politicians across Europe are debating whether to raise our target for CO2 cuts from 20 to 30 per cent (based on 1990 levels) by 2020. It’s such a necessary increase that many people and organisations - from the UK government to Google, from Ikea to Unilever - agree that we should do it.

But not Volkswagen - and it gets worse.

Along with spending millions on groups lobbying against the 30 per cent target, VW is also opposing new fuel efficiency targets. These would cut CO2 emissions, save drivers money and reduce our dependence on oil.

It’s that dependence that drives oil drillers to the Arctic, where companies routinely use giant water cannons to break up icebergs in the way of their operations.

But all is not lost. We feel the good in Volkswagen. They have the engineers and the technology to make some of the most efficient vehicles on Earth.

But their bosses have been seduced by the Dark Side and are employing henchmen to lobby against the strong emissions cuts that we need. The time has come when we have no choice but to raise a rebellion to confront them.

>Sign up to join the international rebellion to turn VW away from the dark side.

There are films to watch, lightsabers to build and Ewoks to adopt.

But – most importantly – there’s a planet to protect.

Join us. You’re our only hope.

@european - VW is lobbying against critical EU laws - one on emissions reduction targets and another on vehicle efficiency - which could help cut our CO2 emissions. No doubt Chrysler does have its own influence in the European parliament, but as a EU company with supposedly green intentions, we think VW shouldn't be trying to hobble such climate change legislation.

@Natalie - I'm sure you have read the report (, so you won't need me to tell you that no one's saying the car industry is the biggest polluter. But with VW trying to scupper EU climate laws (which will cover all emissions, not just transport) and deploying its green technologies in only a small proportion of its fleet, that makes it a valid target for this campaign. VW likes its green image - "We aim to be the most eco-friendly automaker in the world!" they say - but maybe it should walk the walk and all that.

@Daithesci - Greenpeace has three active ships. Last year, VW produced 7.2 million cars, with its most efficient technologies in only 6 per cent of its fleet. What's your point exactly?

About Jamie

I'm a forests campaigner working mainly on Indonesia. My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

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