Volkswagen’s VLKAY chief executive has taken aim at leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) for failing to set a firm date to phase out coal power and rejecting a proposal to halt the production of diesel and gas cars.
Herbert Diess, who is leading VW’s transformation to a manufacturer of electric vehicles (EV), vented his disappointment on Twitter.
“That’s not enough, @G7,” Diess tweeted Tuesday. “We need to exit coal much earlier! EVs are key to reach the climate goals 2030. But EVs only make sense with green energy, letting EVs run on coal is regulatory nonsense.”
The 62-year-old, who fired a general broadside at Germany’s coal-reliant energy sector last year, plans to launch roughly 70 battery-powered VW VLKAY models by the end of the decade.
He has said that more than 70% of VW VLKAY brand’s European sales should EVs by 2030, up from a previous target of 35%. In the US and China, the company expects half of its sales to be EVs by that time frame.
Volkswagen’s ambitious plan to build six European gigafactories in the next nine years sets the company up to be a major battery player in its own right
For now, the automaker’ substantial investment in EVs – 35 billion euros ($41.7 billion) by 2025 – is centred on cell technology and further downstream in the form of charging infrastructure and recycling of spent batteries.
The G7’s — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and US —meeting last week in Cornwall, England, finished with a promise from these nations to adopt strict measures on coal-fired power stations and end public financing for overseas coal-fired plants by the end of the year.
To support developing countries move away from unabated coal, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US have agreed to provide up to $2 billion to support the work of the Climate Investments Funds.
“These concessional resources are expected to mobilize up to $10 billion in co-financing, including from the private sector, to support renewable energy deployment in developing and emerging economies,” they said, using language similar to that used at the meeting of G7 environmental ministers last month.
The leaders unveiled their first-ever joint commitment to the 1.5°C climate goal. Member states “will align their long-term and short-term climate goals in a manner consistent with keeping the 1.5°C global warming threshold”, the final statement that emerged from last week’s summit says.
The nations’ members were, however, unable to agree on a specific date due to resistance from one member.
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