DaimlerCrysler quits anti-climate change group in favour of investment in clean technology

DaimlerCrysler has ended its membership with the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a US-based lobby group that opposes legal efforts to slow down climate change. DaimlerCrysler's decision was the result of post-merger talks between the company's German and US environmental departments.

“After our merger we began a PMI [post-merger integration] process and the environmental groups met to develop a common environmental philosophy, policy and guidelines,” a DaimlerCrysler spokesperson in Germany told edie. “Because of all the environmental issues we discussed, we came to the decision to end our membership.”

The decision by the auto manufacturer is seen as a further blow to the GCC, which represents businesses that are opposed to binding agreements on greenhouse gas emissions, such as the Kyoto Protocol. DaimlerCrysler is the second auto manufacturer to leave the GCC – Ford announced the end of its membership before Christmas (see related story). Several oil companies, including Shell, have also ended their involvement with the organisation.

“We don’t want to waste valuable time by delaying the development of new technologies,” says the DaimlerCrysler spokesperson. The company is investing in fuel cell technology and is part of a consortium that aims to turn Iceland into a petrol-free country – replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen.

In leaving the GCC, DaimlerCrysler is implicitly giving up any attempt to deny climate change. “Our policy is that global warming is a risk. While we observe scientific opinion closely, we will work to limit emissions,” says the company’s spokesperson. The company supports some of the aims of the Kyoto Protocol and its European section, at least, admits to a policy of co-operation with governments in their efforts to fight climate change.

The European section of DaimlerChrysler is also party to a European automakers’ voluntary agreement that seeks to reduce fleet CO2 emissions – in cars built and registered in Europe between 1995 and 2008 – by 25%. A related voluntary agreement for the German domestic market has also been established. This should see German automakers reducing fuel consumption in cars built and registered in Germany between 1990 and 2005 by 25%.

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