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Polestar and Rivian’s report shows ‘overshoot’ of climate target by 75%

IPCC’s 1.5-degree target will be missed without ‘urgent action’.

Polestar and Rivian

A new report by electric vehicle companies Polestar and Rivian has found that the automotive industry will miss the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 1.5-degree target by more than 75 per cent without ‘urgent action’.

The two EV carmakers have collaborated on the ‘Pathway Report’, concluding that the automotive industry will bypass the IPCC’s targets by 2050 unless a clear change is made. The report also uses open-source data and emissions modelling from global management consulting firm Kearney.

Passenger vehicles currently account for 15 per cent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, with the IPCC stating that these need to be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030. However, Polestar and Rivian’s report shows that the automotive industry is ‘far off track’ and will have used its full CO2e budget by 2035 without change.

The IPCC’s recent report found that a rise of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels will increase the intensity and frequency of ‘extreme events’ and impact resources, ecosystems and food security, among other issues.

Fredrika Klarén, Polestar’s head of sustainability, said: “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, and we must look beyond tailpipe emissions.”

The report has also found clear ways to help address the issue, with the primary method being the increased speed at which petrol and diesel cars are replaced by electric vehicles. The pair admit that this on its own ‘will not be enough’ and that increasing renewable energy in power grids while reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the entire manufacturing supply chain will also help.

Anisa Costa, Rivian’s chief sustainability officer, said: “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.”

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