Automotive giant General Motors announced a series of ambitious climate initiatives today, including targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.
Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO, said:
“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world. We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”
GM stated that it has committed to setting science-based targets towards achieving its goal to reach carbon neutrality in its operations and products, and has also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5⁰C, a call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders. While the 2040 goal only applies to GM’s direct emissions, the company said it is also implementing plans to reduce the impact associated with its supply chain, including working with suppliers on establishing standards for the industry, as well as collaborating with suppliers to set ambitious targets for the supply chain to reduce emissions, increase transparency and source more sustainable materials.
Electrification will be the primary focus of GM’s efforts, accounting for 75% of the carbon emissions related to its 2040 goal. In November 2020, the company announced an expansion of its electric mobility strategy, with plans to offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade, with 40% of the company’s U.S. entries to be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025. Additionally, the company announced an increase in its financial commitment to EVs and AVs to $27 billion through 2025, up from prior plans of $20 billion.
GM also pledged to source 100% renewable energy to power its U.S. sites by 2030 and accelerated its goal for 100% renewable energy for global sites by five years to 2035. The company expects to invest in carbon credits or offsets to address remaining emissions.
GM said that it worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and on its 2035 tailpipe emissions elimination aspiration, and pledged to continue working with the EDF and other stakeholders to build out a charging infrastructure and promote consumer acceptance, while maintaining high quality jobs.
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, said:
“With this extraordinary step forward, GM is making it crystal clear that taking action to eliminate pollution from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 is an essential element of any automaker’s business plan. EDF and GM have had some important differences in the past, but this is a new day in America — one where serious collaboration to achieve transportation electrification, science-based climate progress and equitably shared economic opportunity can move our nation forward.”