Volkswagen Dieselgate Brings Delight to UN Climate Change Chief Christiana Figueres

UN Climate Change Chief Christiana Figueres 1 photo
Photo: The Christian Science Monitor
Volkswagen is far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, as one of the biggest scandals in the automotive industry keeps getting bigger by the month. While the largest European carmaker is desperately looking for a way out, convinced environmentalists such as Costa Rican UN diplomat Christiana Figueres seem to be more than pleased with what happened.
It’s not sadistic pleasure climate change advocates are experiencing, though, considering Volkswagen’s bankruptcy is the last thing anybody is looking after. Not to get things wrong, Figueres’ call is not some bizarre, hippie statement that should trigger anger and disputes. On the contrary, what the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol negotiations said in Washington at a Christian Science Monitor event is more like an encouragement.

“I am delighted about the Volkswagen [emission cheat scandal]. Do you know what that has done for Volkswagen? You have to understand what Volks-Wagen means. It means the car of the people,” said the UN official. She then continued to discuss the company’s corporate intention to scrap diesel for good and accelerate towards electric vehicle models, hybrid plug-ins included.

“Because Tesla is certainly opening up very new ground. But Tesla, as we all know, is not exactly the people’s vehicle. So if the people’s vehicle says we’re going to electric automobiles, and we’re going to make it accessible to everybody to be able to get a car, now we have a little electric transportation revolution underway.”

On a regular basis, such statements would pass as some theatrical eco-conscious speech, but in the light of recent events, it may be more. EPA has just announced its engineers have discovered defeat devices in 3-liter TDI engines used by the Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and some Audi sedans. Moreover, trusted sources in the industry claim the high CO2 levels Volkswagen also found on 800,000 cars is just the tip of the iceberg for what may turn into a second emission scandal.

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