Toyota Shareholders Block Climate Lobbying Transparency Proposal

Toyota Shareholders Block Climate Lobbying Transparency Proposal

Toyota has never been on the climate-conscious side of things. The company fought tooth and nail against stricter California emissions, and continues to pour money into fighting other tailpipe regulations. It’s been slow to introduce new EVs, and the electric vehicles it has introduced are often… fine.

So Toyota had an interesting challenge on its hands when a group of European investors, holding a collective $US400 ($555) million in Toyota shares, proposed that the company increase transparency on its climate lobbying efforts. Now, that ballot measure has gone to shareholders, where it was soundly rejected.

The proposal, according to Reuters, never really stood a chance. Despite backing from nine-figure investors, it simply wasn’t popular enough to pry the ICE dollar signs from shareholders’ eyes:

The climate resolution was submitted by Danish pension fund AkademikerPension and two other European asset managers and sought to make Toyota release more details about its lobbying activities related to climate change.

It was widely expected to fail after Toyota’s board recommended shareholders vote against it. The automaker’s management typically enjoys strong support from shareholders, which include some of its group companies and suppliers.

Still, the proposal sharpened focus on Toyota’s electric vehicle (EV) strategy and governance ahead of the meeting, the first under new CEO Koji Sato. Green investors and activists have said Toyota has been too slow to capitalise on the surging popularity of battery electrics.

Oh, that’s good. It “sharpened focus on Toyota’s electric vehicle strategy.” That’s the kind of immediate action we need, the big environmental swings that will keep the air around our offices breathable. A sharp focus will surely fix everything.

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