Filthy Five: Toyota, Ford among car companies polluting more than Australia’s coal mines

06.03.24 By

Five filthy car companies whose fleets are responsible for more climate pollution than some of Australia’s biggest coal mines have been identified in new analysis by the Climate Council. 

Toyota’s 2023 new car sales are estimated to produce more climate pollution in a year than 46 big coal mines. The 2023 car sales of four other big brands – Ford, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and Mazda also put them on par with dozens of dirty, climate-wrecking coal mines.

These figures are calculated as if the most emissions intensive variant was purchased. See the full methodology in the analysis for more details.

Transport is Australia’s fastest growing source of climate pollution, with cars, vans and utes making up almost two-thirds of transport pollution. 

Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said: “The cars these multinational corporations sell are responsible for as much climate pollution in a year as dozens of big, dirty coal mines. Right now, they are getting off scot free because that pollution isn’t being regulated.

“It is no surprise that the ‘Filthy ‘Five’ car companies like Toyota and Mazda have been some of the most vocal critics of regulating vehicle pollution. They’ve used Australia as a dumping ground for their most polluting vehicles for years, while offering more efficient vehicles in countries that have regulation.

“That’s why Australian vehicles use 20 percent more petrol than American vehicles, which we pay for with our well being and at the hip pocket. In fact more Australians die from air pollution than in road accidents.

“The transport industry needs to pull its weight in cutting climate pollution. That starts with the ‘Filthy Five’ giving Aussies more access to cleaner cars that are cheaper to run.”

Climate Council Head of Advocacy, Dr Jennifer Rayner, said: “All of these major car brands have made public commitments to reduce climate pollution from their fleets. At the same time, they are trying to water down an effective New Vehicle Efficiency Standard that could help them get there. It’s hypocritical and dishonest.

“The ‘Filthy Five’ are already selling a wide range of lower and zero emissions cars overseas. We need strong rules now to make them bring these cars to Australia as well, so our new vehicles are no longer competing with coal mines when it comes to how much pollution they pump into our air, our lungs and our climate.” 

For more information on the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard, view our information document for journalists here.


For interviews please contact Zerene Catacutan on 0438 972 260,; or Jemimah Taylor, 0478 924 425, 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: Or follow us on social media: and