The Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Cars and Vans, announced at the COP26 climate summit, includes a commitment to “work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets”.

Ford, General Motors, Geely-owned Volvo, Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, BYD, and Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover all signed the commitment.

Major automakers notably absent include Toyota (unsurprisingly*), Volkswagen, BMW, Renault, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, and Stellantis.

Toyota Motors is the third most obstructive company in the world, actively lobbying against national climate policies. They are third behind gas and oil giants ExxonMobile and Chevron.

Chinese-owned Sweden-based Volvo has already committed to going fully electric by 2030.

Countries that did sign the declaration include » Austria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

Major auto producing countries notably absent include » China, Germany, Japan, and the United States.

Canadian provinces of British Columbia, and Quebec also committed.

Martyn McLaughlin / The Scotsman »

Speaking at a dedicated road transport event inside the summit’s blue zone on Wednesday, Trudy Harrison, a minister in the Department for Transport, said the “international collaboration” brings together countries which account for around a fifth of car sales around the world.

She said the declaration “crystallises the progress we have made in the past two years,” adding: “Today marks a tipping point in the transition to clean road transport, and we have really seen the momentum build in the past 18 months. Now it’s time to turn those good intentions into actions.”

However, the effectiveness of the agreement has been severely undermined by the absence of leading countries, including the US, China, Japan and Germany. Scotland is listed among the “regional government” signatories.

Four of world’s five largest vehicle makers fail to back COP26 emissions agreement » Financial Post 🔒

Yet despite months of pressure by the UK, four of the world’s five largest carmakers — Volkswagen, Toyota, the Renault-Nissan alliance, and Hyundai-Kia — have not signed up.

China, the world’s largest car market, did not sign. The US, the second largest, was also absent from the agreement by Tuesday evening, although individual states including California, New York and Washington backed the deal, as well as cities such as Dallas, Charleston, Atlanta and Seattle. São Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina also joined the pledge.

The agreement commits the signatories to ending the sale of new cars that produce emissions in “leading markets” by 2035, and globally by 2040.

» COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans

Elsewhere » Reuters / Volvo Cars / Autocar / The Detroit News / CNET Roadshow