Toyota Shareholders Reject Proposal Demanding Improved Efforts on Climate Change

posted by  
Filed under Automotive, News, Toyota

toyota climate change

Toyota shareholders convened for their annual general meeting in Toyota city, Japan, where they debated and ultimately rejected a proposal demanding improved efforts from the automaker to combat climate change. The initiative, put forth by Danish investment fund AkademikerPension, accused Toyota Motor Corp. of actively undermining global government initiatives to phase out internal combustion engines. The shareholders, consisting of around 3,800 individuals, filled a hall at Toyota headquarters for the meeting. The exact number of ballots cast remained undisclosed until the following day when the votes were tallied.

The majority of Toyota shares are held by the company itself, its group companies, retired employees, and other stakeholders sympathetic to the company’s standpoint. Consequently, it was expected that shareholders would reject the proposal, which also challenged the reappointment of Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda. The resolution argued that the company had fallen behind in adopting battery electric vehicles, impeding its adherence to the global shift in the automotive industry. Toyoda and other company officials defended Toyota’s environmental record, emphasizing its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Danish fund’s proposal received support from Norwegian financial services company Storebrand Asset Management and Dutch pension investment firm APG Asset Management. These organizations expressed concerns about Toyota potentially missing out on profits from the growing electric vehicle market, thus endangering its brand and reinforcing its image as a global laggard. They urged Toyota to fulfill its commitment to the Paris Agreement, an international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Toyota representatives emphasized that the company’s strategy encompassed multiple energy options, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen-powered vehicles, instead of solely focusing on battery electric vehicles. Masahiro Yamamoto, one of the executives, stressed the importance of effectively conveying the company’s efforts to all shareholders. Koji Sato, the company’s president, acknowledged Toyota’s need to catch up in the battery electric vehicle sector and assured shareholders of the company’s dedication to moving forward.

While major U.S. pension funds, including the New York City Comptroller’s Office and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, supported the climate change proposal, it ultimately did not sway the majority of Toyota shareholders. Outside the meeting venue, Greenpeace activists held up a sign calling for the elimination of fossil fuel cars by 2030, a goal that exceeds Toyota’s current timeline. Greenpeace representatives advocated for battery electric vehicles and green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, as the best alternatives.

During the meeting, most shareholders expressed their satisfaction with Toyota’s performance, and Toyoda’s statements were met with enthusiastic applause. One shareholder raised a question regarding accusations that Toyoda lacked a love for Japan, possibly alluding to concerns about the company’s focus on the global market. Toyoda responded by reaffirming his commitment to Toyota, its workforce, and the Japanese automotive industry.

Overall, the rejection of the climate change proposal by Toyota shareholders reflects the company’s position on pursuing a diversified approach to energy options while assuring its commitment to addressing climate change. The outcome of the meeting garnered attention from various environmental groups and stakeholders, with expectations for Toyota to make significant strides in the realm of electric vehicles.

Source: APNews


You May Also Like

No Related Posts


Automotive Manufacturers & Categories