The environmental campaigner singled out Volkswagen Group in its report: The Dark Side of Volkswagen, and has taken the internet by storm with its VW: The Dark Side video clips. Episode I has been viewed more than 600,000 times over the few days.
Greenpeace’s beef appears to stem from a letter to the European Union from Volkswagen and other German car manufacturers on January 26, 2007. In it, the carmakers asked the EU to reconsider proposals of a mandatory target of 120g/km CO
or less for all new cars sold in Europe from 2012.
Greenpeace claims that as the largest automotive manufacturer in Europe (one in five vehicles sold in Europe are produced by Volkswagen Group), Volkswagen has the ability to have the greatest impact in CO2
It says that between 2006 and 2009, Volkswagen’s average emissions decreased by just 7.8 per cent, while BMW and Toyota achieved reductions of 18 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. This statistic ignores Volkswagen’s improvement in 2010, however, when the company reduced its emissions by 5 per cent alone in just one year.
Greenpeace also believes Volkswagen is guilty of ‘greenwashing’ its fleet (giving a false impression of its environmental credentials), particularly with the high price of its BlueMotion vehicles.
It’s not all negative from Greenpeace, however. The environmental crusader believes Volkswagen can do much better, and has called on it to stop lobbying against the EU’s energy laws and publically support its targets, commit to making more significant CO2
reductions, roll out BlueMotion vehicles across its entire fleet, ensure the next Volkswagen Golf consumes less than 3.0 litres/100km on the combined cycle, and set out a plan to make its entire fleet oil-free by 2040.
To make up your own mind on the issue, you can read the full report here.
Then feel free to let us know where you stand in the comments section below. Should Volkswagen be doing more to reduce its emissions, or has it been unfairly targeted by Greenpeace?