Back in January 2021, GM released an ambitious plan to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty vehicle lineup by the 2035 calendar year, and to become fully carbon neutral by 2040. However, several environmental and social justice organizations are claiming that General Motors’ plan is all smoke and mirrors, and that the Detroit-based automaker isn’t doing enough to live up to its own ambitions.
Lead by global advocacy group Mighty Earth, 13 environmentally minded organizations banded together to draft a letter to The General that demands it to decarbonize its material supply and cease polluting local communities.
“There is no way that GM can live up to its carbon-neutral commitments without taking meaningful action to decarbonize its material supply chain starting with steel and aluminum,” Mighty Earth Senior Director Matthew Groch said in a prepared statement. “From the local pollution caused by Cleveland Cliffs to the forced Uyghur labor in China to desecrating the ancestral lands of the People of Red Mountain, every place that GM’s material supply chain touches, the people and the planet suffer.”
It’s worth noting that the letter specifically mentions Cleveland Cliffs, which was awarded supplier of the year by GM for six consecutive years. This is notable because the supplier paid $3 million in fines in 2022 for spilling cyanide and ammonia into Lake Michigan.
“For over one hundred years GM has been a part of Michigan. Unfortunately, this has meant it is the people of Michigan who feel the pain of layoffs and environmental degradation caused by GM. If GM wants ‘everybody in’ on the company’s plan to go carbon neutral, let’s start by protecting Michigan’s environment and not rewarding serial polluters like Cleveland Cliffs,” Michigan United Environmental Justice Director Em Perry was quoted as saying.