Parents’ video calling on Toyota to change course hits 1.2 million views

Ahead of Toyota’s annual shareholder meeting on 14 June, families from across the world came together in a video message that has now over 1.2 million views across platforms. Parents and kids from six countries voiced their opposition to Toyota’s plans to increase sales of fossil-fuel burning combustion engine vehicles to a new record high of over 11 million this financial year.

Instead of ever-rising car sales, rising CO2 emissions, and worsening air pollution, parents and kids imagined safe futures. Futures in which walking, cycling and public transport were prioritised, traffic jams were a thing of the past, petrol engines were no more, and diverse e-mobility solutions were accessible for all. 

Over 90 percent of children worldwide breathe dirty air because of the burning of fossil fuels, with combustion engine cars a key contributor to these emissions. Our Kids’ Climate – a global network of parents who helped create the video – is calling for a rapid transition to clean renewable energy for the sake of children’s health and futures.  

The video involved the participation of groups on four continents: Australian Parents for Climate Action, Rodzice dla Klimatu – Parents For Future Poland, Mums for Lungs (UK), XR Families (UK), The Parents’ Climate Community (USA), Warrior Moms (India), and Parents for Future Kenya.

The parents’ campaign was just one part of a larger wave of action against Toyota. The world’s biggest carmaker faced a climate-related push from its shareholders for the first time, after the company was ranked the 3rd worst climate lobbyist in the world in 2021 by InfluenceMap – behind only Exxon and Chevron.

Three influential pension funds, AkademikerPension (Denmark), Storebrand (Norway) and APG (the Netherlands), proposed a resolution that called on Toyota to drastically improve disclosure of the company’s lobbying against climate action. Garnering the support of an unprecedented 15% of voting shareholders, Toyota is under considerable pressure to clean up their act on climate. 

The AGM also saw just 85% vote in support of Toyota chairperson Akio Toyoda – an 11% drop from last year – due to disquiet about corporate governance and Toyota’s strategic direction, with the company failing to significantly invest in climate friendly technologies like EVs. With anything under 90% considered bad in investor circles, support for Toyoda falling to 85% is considered “plain awkward”, according to Reuters.

Parents groups are promising further action against super polluter Toyota to protect the health and wellbeing of children and families across the world. 

As explained by Bhavreen Kandhari from Warrior Moms in India, “Children have a right to clean air, a healthy environment and a safe planet. In Delhi, our air is polluted because of the burning of fossil fuels. Every child is a smoker as soon as they’re born. We need Toyota to stop putting the brakes on the transition to clean energy. All children everywhere need to breathe clean air. ”  

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