GM Accelerates Deadline to Use Renewable Energy

DETROIT – General Motors has moved up its deadline to power all of its American plants with renewable energy by five years – putting the new goal in 2025.

By accelerating its timeline,   GM expects to eliminate 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions. In 2016, when the automaker first announced its goal, the deadline was 2050.

“We know climate action is a priority and every company must push itself to decarbonize further and faster,” said GM chief sustainability officer Kristen Siemen in a statement. “That’s what we are doing by aiming to achieve 100 percent renewable energy five years earlier in the U.S. as we continue to advance on our commitment to lead an all-electric, carbon-neutral future.”

General Motors’ decarbonization effort focuses on four pillars: improving energy efficiency, sourcing renewable energy, creating technology to store renewable energy in the medium- and long-term, and policy advocacy.

“Policy efforts are essential to expand transmission, create microgrids that help deploy renewable energy, and enable markets to price these solutions to enable a carbon-free resilient power system. GM supports policies that enable a carbon-free, resilient power system,” the company said in its announcement Thursday.

GM is also partnering with PJM Interconnection, the energy transmission company for 13 states and Washington, D.C., and energy technology company TimberRock to track electricity-related carbon emissions at GM sites in real time. The partnerships is expected to eventually expand to monitor vehicle emissions.

Earlier this year, GM announced its plan to become carbon neutral in its global operations by 2040, a goal that aligns with its effort to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 – an effort that includes the Ultium batteries that will be made in Lordstown.

GM also announced that it has signed on to participate in Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, an initiative that brings together public and private sector partners to help advance the commercialization of technology that GM believes supports its equitable climate actions goals. This commitment to Catalyst rounds out the other sustainability initiatives GM has established through the company’s $25 million Climate Equity Fund, which supports grassroots and community organizations that are working on the front lines of climate justice.

Image via General Motors

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