After announcing a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2040, GM became the nation’s largest automaker to make such an aggressive pledge. Geraldine Barnuevo, environmental strategies and sustainability senior manager at GM, said the company’s work toward zero emissions through electrification was years in the making.
“GM established its triple zero vision in 2017, however, we have been working in the electric vehicle area since 1996,” Barnuevo told Cheddar. “We are embracing the science behind climate change, aiming to reduce carbon emissions in line with the level of decarbonization that the Paris agreement requires.”
By 2035, the company’s fleet is expected mostly to be made up of electric vehicles. Barnuevo called the plan one of the company’s most ambitious, and by 2025, the automaking giant expects to mark a milestone in its journey, expecting to offer 30 all-electric models worldwide.
Also, in an effort to ramp up toward a greener future, she said that GM is investing more than $27 billion over the next five years into electrification and autonomous technologies.
“Business must play a leading role in this transformation of the global economy to one that prioritizes and rewards innovative solutions to the climate crisis,” Barnuevo said.
On the political side, President Joe Biden recently signed executive orders aimed at aggressively reducing the nation’s carbon output by no longer providing federal dollars for oil and fossil fuel programs. According to Barnuevo, GM is “encouraged” by the president’s commitment to climate change.
“We look forward to working with the Biden administration to help advance policies like incentives for consumers that reflect a vision of an all-electric future for America,” she said.
While GM has committed to achieving carbon neutrality, Barnuevo said in order to affect real change on the climate front, it has to be a joint effort by businesses across the globe. GM and several hundred other companies have committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C that calls on firms to set climate targets to limit global temperature rise.
“We are encouraging others to come along with us in this journey. We are working with our suppliers to bring them along. We are setting science-based targets to achieve our carbon neutrality goal, and we are working with the community, stakeholders, NGOs including EDF to make this a reality,” Barnuevo said.