ENVIRONMENT
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Toyota Distances Itself From Chamber Of Commerce's Climate Change Stance

In response to pressure from environmental groups, Toyota issued a statement on Friday distancing the automaker from the Chamber's opposition to climate change legislation.

"Toyota is a member of a wide array of groups, but none has our full proxy," wrote Toyota executive Josephine Cooper. "Our association with any one of them does not signify that we agree with all of their policies."

Politico reported Friday that Toyota had been "inundated with calls and emails" from Prius owners upset about the firm's Chamber membership.

Chamber president Tom Donohue has complained about the "orchestrated pressure campaign" to get businesses to defect from the uber lobbying group.

Here's the full statement from Toyota:

Toyota Supports Economy-Wide Reductions of Greenhouse Gases

Recently, you may have seen some reports or emails critical of Toyota's membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in light of the Chamber's position on reducing greenhouse gases. We want to set the record straight.

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.

As the record shows, Toyota has long supported global economy-wide reductions of greenhouse gases, and we are committed to working cooperatively with the U.S. and other governments to achieve these reductions in every market where we operate. That is why Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz stood with President Obama at the White House last May in support of a national program to reduce greenhouse gases from vehicles. We will not disappoint when it comes time to deliver.

In fact, we have not waited for government legislation or regulation to address these issues. We are the leader in fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. We are the leader in hybrid technology, and are making major investments to develop and bring to market even more advanced hybrids, plug-in hybrids, pure electrics and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. And, we've already cut CO2 emissions and energy use from our manufacturing plants on a per-vehicle basis by 19% since 2000.

Our actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions speak for themselves, and we are focused on moving ahead with real-world solutions.

Josephine S. Cooper
Group Vice President, Public Policy and Government/Industry Affairs
Toyota Motor North America