Updated: Wednesday, 16th April 2014 @ 6:11pm

Greenpeace battle Volkswagen over emissions campaign in Manchester

Greenpeace battle Volkswagen over emissions campaign in Manchester

By Francine Ponticelli

Greenpeace campaigners protested against Volkswagen’s aim to cut the reduction target of green house gases by 10 per cent by 2020, this weekend.

The eco-conscious campaign is working to lure VW to ‘turn away from the dark side’ as Greenpeace have created three ways that VW can use its status to make a difference to our planet.

The three steps include: the car manufacturers to support strong CO2 emission cuts, maintain strong fuel efficiency standards and to use its technology productively.  

Playing on last year’s VW advertising campaign with the young boy dressed as Darth Vader, last weekend’s campaign saw Storm Troopers holding posters serving the message ‘Volkswagen. The dark side’ to passers-by.  

Speaking on the situation Greenpeace’s Network Co-ordinator for Manchester, Elliot Bovill, said: “At the moment we’re really, really upset with Volkswagen.

“They’re spending all of their money lobbying the European Union to bring down our carbon reduction targets and in this day and age it’s not very acceptable. We all know the score, we all know that climate change is happening, we know that we need to look after our planet and reduce our emissions.”

Greenpeace are working hard to get as many petitions signed as possible, as Elliot explained: “At the moment we’re set for a 30 per cent reduction by the end of the decade, but [VW] want to bring it down to 20 per cent. We’re actually on target to meeting out 30 per cent, so it’s not some crazy, outlandish dream we’re chasing after. We’re actually doing it.”

As the UK’s largest environmental organisation, Greenpeace believe VW must change its ways and support strong standards from now on. As one of Europe’s major vehicle manufacturers, VW does have the resources to support Greenpeace in its goal.

“We’ve got over 500,000 signatures at the moment and [VW] are still not listening and 500,000 is a ridiculous number. We’ve managed to get Unilever to stop putting palm oil in their Dove products with just 100,000 signatures, but Volkswagen, for some reason, are really adamant to stand by their ways and deny us a clean future,” said Elliot.   

Greenpeace campaigners are determined to spread the word of lowering carbon emissions and have even gone to extreme lengths to obtain signatures.

“We’ve been going down to the dealerships and letting customers know. Members of staff have been signing our petitions. The Volkswagen staff are actually on board with us and there’s about 50,000 people who have signed our petition who are Volkswagen drivers,” added Elliot.

With all the hard work going in to raising awareness about our environment, the prospect of gaining VW’s support would appear to be a dream-come-true.

“We’d be really, really happy. Obviously, if you take out the most influential car company in Europe it will be easier to push other smaller companies to follow suit,” concluded Elliot.

To learn more on Greenpeace’s campaign and have the chance to sign their online petition, see link http://www.vwdarkside.com/en