Polestar and Rivian study shows car industry set to overshoot climate target by 75% without urgent action

Polestar and Rivian commissioned Kearney to carry out the “Pathway Report” on the automotive industry and climate change. The report concludes that the sector will overshoot the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5-degree pathway by at least 75% by 2050.

The report was commissioned in response to the climate crisis. It delved into existing open-source data to project future emissions attributable to the car industry.

Passenger vehicles produce about 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. These emissions must be reduced by 43% by the decade’s end to stay on target. This shows how far off-target the auto industry is, as it would have depleted its CO2 emission budgets by 2035 without urgent action. The report, however, suggests that the car industry can still get back on course. It needs to redirect its focus and resources to remain in line with the Paris Agreement. The Pathway Report mentions immediate actions car manufacturers should embark on between now and 2030.

The report considers a three-lever pathway, including the speed at which ICE cars need to be replaced by electric vehicles, increasing renewable energy in power grids, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain.

Fredrika Klarén, Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, says: “Car companies may be on different paths when it comes to brand, design, and business strategies, and some won’t even admit that the road to the future is electric. I believe it is, and that the climate crisis is a shared responsibility – we must look beyond tailpipe emissions. This report clarifies the importance of acting now and acting together. There is a clear cost to inaction, but there is also a financial opportunity for innovators who find new answers to the challenges we face.”

Rivian’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Anisa Costa, adds: “The report’s findings are sobering. Our hope is that this report lays the groundwork for the automotive industry to collaborate in driving progress at the pace and scale we need – and ideally inspiring other industries to do the same. Together, I’m confident we can win the race against time.”

Polestar and Rivian have shared the report with the top car makers globally.

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