As You Sow Statement in Response to 17 State Lawsuit Against EPA Lowering Vehicle Emissions Standards

CONTACT: Cyrus Nemati, (510) 735-8157

Today, the state of California and 16 other states filed suit against the Trump EPA over its plan to substantially weaken agreed upon air pollution standards for vehicles. Investors are highly concerned that the auto industry, including Ford and General Motors, have lobbied to weaken vehicle standards that protect air quality, reduce climate change pollution, and protect consumers’ pocket books. Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow, had this to say:

“We applaud the actions taken today by 17 attorneys general to protect current vehicle standards. These standards serve the planet, investors, and automakers extremely well, successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution while creating cost savings for consumers. Since vehicles contribute nearly 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, near term, significant, and consistent reductions from automotive companies are necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Investors are highly concerned that weakened standards will backfire on U.S. automakers. To remain competitive in a world that is acting on climate change, auto companies must constantly innovate new and better technologies. Stalling their own forward progress to focus on selling larger vehicles runs the risk of reducing competitiveness and hampering their ability to serve global markets. Given the dire need for year-on-year greenhouse gas emissions reductions, moving the finish line to a later date only makes compliance with a 2 degree pathway more costly and challenging to meet.”

As You Sow filed shareholder resolutions this year with both Ford and General Motors asking the companies to report whether their greenhouse gas emissions will increase under weakened standards or whether they plan to retain emissions consistent with, or better than, current CAFE standards to ensure their products are sustainable in a rapidly decarbonizing vehicle market.

Transportation is the fastest growing source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Without near term and significant reductions from automotive companies, it will be difficult to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.