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Largest US automaker General Motors plans to be carbon neutral by 2040

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

General Motors announced that it plans to eliminate emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and go completely carbon neutral by 2040.

General Motors (GM), the largest automaker in the U.S., announced plans Thursday to go completely carbon neutral globally and produce an all-electric lineup of vehicles by 2040, according to a press release. GM also joined fellow U.S. automaker Ford Motor Company and more than 380 other companies, signing onto the United Nations (UN) “Business Ambition for 1.5 C” climate petition.

“General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole.”

The company said it will achieve carbon neutrality by setting “science-based targets,” according to the release. Such targets include transitioning to battery electric vehicles and other zero-emissions technology.

“GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by mid-decade and 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models offered will be battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025,” the company said.

The “Business Ambition for 1.5 C” is a UN initiative to rally companies worldwide to cut greenhouse gas emissions and hold global temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Overall emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 in order to achieve the goal, according to the initiative.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders geared toward combatting climate change. Namely, Biden signed an order on tackling climate issues at home and abroad, establishing both a White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy and National Climate Task Force.

“This is not time for small measures,” Biden said before signing the orders. “We need to be bold.”

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