After backing Trump, Toyota rethinks on climate

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Japan’s Toyota has signaled a shift in its climate change stance.

It says it will review its lobbying and be more transparent on what steps it is taking.

The carmaker is facing increased activist and investor pressure.

Toyota was among major automakers that supported the Trump administration in 2019 in its attempt to bar California from setting its own fuel-efficiency rules or zero-emission requirements.

They have since dropped that support.

Toyota also said it would “strive to provide more information so that our stakeholders can understand our effort to achieve carbon neutrality.”

Four funds with about $235 billion in assets under management are pressuring Toyota before its annual shareholder meeting in June.

They want the company to draw a line under its lobbying against international efforts to prevent catastrophic global warming.

Jens Munch Holst, the chief executive of Danish pension fund AkademikerPension, told Reuters the move must not be a PR exercise.

The fund says it will take action at next year’s annual general meeting if Toyota fails to deliver on its commitment.

It says the giant automaker has repeatedly undermined global action to prevent global warming, including opposing the U.K. government’s ban on internal combustion engines by 2030 and opposing car fuel economy standards in the U.S.

A Toyota spokeswoman told Reuters that it would need more time to respond to Munch Holst’s comments.

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