Stormtroopers expose car lobby get-together

Posted by sara_a — 2 December 2011 at 9:09am - Comments

Today the Dark Side has come to Brussels, where the world’s biggest car companies are gathering for a shadowy meeting where they will decide whether to block a key European climate law to clean up our engines.

We've found out where this meeting of the car industry's lobbying body, Acea, is being held and have sent a corp of stormtroopers to make sure everyone know it's happening. Do you think large signs saying 'Car lobby meeting here' are subtle enough?

Some of Europe's most powerful businessmen are being forced to walk past a 'guard of dishonour', formed by 12 stormtroopers. Meanwhile, I'm going to try and get into the meeting myself to take our demands directly to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, and the other car company bosses.

Volkswagen is the most powerful of these companies, and also the most determined to block this law or water it down with loopholes and delaying tactics. The new law would greatly reduce emissions from European cars, as well as saving motorists money on petrol. The lobbying power of these companies means this meeting is a crucial point in our push to clean up our engines.

There's a sense of history repeating itself. When the last set of car efficiency laws were negotiated a few years ago, the car companies claimed it was impossible for them to meet the proposed standards, lobbying hard for delays and a weaker law which they got. But time has shown that some of their alarmist claims were not borne out in reality. In fact, many companies will meet the legal requirements earlier than they have to. (We've debunked the six big myths car makers put around during the last round of negotiations.)

We don't know yet what the outcome of this shadowy lobbying meeting will be, but you can do some lobbying of your own. There's an EU consultation being held to find out what we think about reducing CO2 emissions from cars and you can contribute to it now. It looks complex but it's just multiple choice questions and will only take a couple of minutes to complete. (And we've prepared a step-by-step guide to completing it.)

You don't have to answer all the questions, so if you only have time for one, answer the first question:

Setting greenhouse emission standards for road vehicles is an important aspect of EU action to reduce such emissions.

Answer 'entirely agree' if you want to reduce our reliance on oil and help tackle climate change.

If we all answer that one question, EU policy makers will know they need to listen to us rather than VW and the other car companies.

Nice work.

We need stronger laws, both domestic, European and International to force companies to produce more sustainable high tech solutions to climate change, like low emission vehicles, high speed train links (powered by renewables) - as opposed to new airports, and energy efficent new build housing, heated by CHP plants.

Companies like VW, and their lackeys in these secret meetings, should be exposed, and the public should be outraged at the corrupt practices of such groups lobbying to stop such laws that are essential to the survival of our civilisation.

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