Despite pressure from vehicle owners and stockholder groups, Toyota has no immediate plans to abandon the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the trade association's position on climate policy.
In recent weeks, three of the nation's largest utilities and Nike have parted ways with the Chamber because of the group's staunch opposition to climate policy, and in particular, to a cap-and-trade policy mechanism.
Officials from the U.S. chamber of commerce reportedly told Politico that in private conversations the car company had been supportive of its campaign against a proposed law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Officially, Toyota has not taken a position on the proposed climate change law. However, Martha Voss, a spokeswoman for the company, said Toyota was not inclined to support a cap-and-trade system.
"We are members of the chamber and we are not planning to leave so I guess if that is supportive, then we are as supportive as ever, yeah," Voss told The Guardian.
But the company's position is a little more nuanced according to Josephine S. Cooper, Toyota Vice President for Public Policy and Government/Industry. Cooper wrote on the company blog:
"Toyota is a member of a wide array of groups, but none has our full proxy. Our association with any one of them does not signify that we agree with all of their policies. It means we are there to have a dialogue and engage in making good public policy. Toyota speaks for itself and has its own position on mitigating climate change, backed up by a strong track record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
These two positions sound like they take two sides of the same coin. It seems that reconciling "we are as supportive as ever" with "Toyota speaks for itself" is something the company's public relations team has yet to work on — but probably should.
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