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Carbon Emissions Management

Reducing carbon emissions

General Motors takes the challenge of climate change seriously, and it is a driving force behind our vision of a future with zero emissions

We’re committed to achieving this vision in a timeframe that aligns with climate science. That’s why GM has announced plans to become carbon neutral in our global products and operations by 2040. Making progress toward these goals will address the most significant sources of carbon emissions that we may be able to impact, including vehicle emissions, which currently represent 75% of the emissions we are trying to reduce, and our manufacturing operations, which are responsible for 2%. To reach carbon neutrality in our operations, we have a goal to source 100% renewable energy globally by 2035, five years earlier than our previous commitment made in 2020 and 15 years sooner than our original target.

Our plans to achieve carbon neutrality are aligned with the Science Based Targets (SBTi) consortium of organizations that include CDP, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the World Resources Institute and the UN Global Compact. Organizations can play their part in combating climate change by setting GHG emissions reduction targets that are aligned with reduction pathways for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C or well below 2°C compared to preindustrial temperatures. These targets are termed science-based targets (SBTs).

GM submitted and SBTi has approved a commitment to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from our operations 71.4% by 2035 from a 2018 base year and to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions intensity from use of sold products of light-duty vehicles 50.4% per vehicle kilometer by 2035 from a 2018 base year. The base year of 2018 was chosen as it represents the most recent verified annual dataset that correlates to normal production without major pandemic or other disruptions.

To hold ourselves accountable, GM also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5°C, an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies and business and industry leaders to urge limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Together, these actions will help establish a safer and better world.

As we work toward achieving carbon neutrality, we remain committed to transparent disclosure of GHG emissions and actions we are taking to reduce them globally. We reaffirm these points with our global employees and other stakeholders, including policymakers, regulators and shareholders. We are currently advocating for state and federal policies that support EV adoption and will be necessary for achieving our aspiration. Read more about this effort in the Public Policy section of this report.

Managing Climate Change Risk

Climate change has been incorporated into our enterprise risk management framework. This designation ensures that these issues are considered in our decision-making processes. Our consideration of climate change has helped us understand and clarify the risks and opportunities in our transition to an all-electric future. We recognize that certain consumers are increasingly aware of the need to limit climate change, and that this awareness will influence their purchases and brand perceptions going forward. Climate change concerns are also likely to drive new policy and regulations, as well as political and economic pressures to reduce emissions throughout the manufacturing value chain.

As a result, we believe it is important that we understand the concerns of our stakeholders as we continue to advocate for a National Zero Emissions Vehicle policy to support the transition to electric vehicles. Read more in the Public Policy section of this report. Today, as part of this transition, we identify and monitor climate change risks on a regular basis across our business. The Board and its Committees receive updates regarding climate-related risks, and directors factor such risks into various strategic considerations, including those related to EV execution, battery cost and product portfolio reviews requiring capital expenditures. We believe that these efforts help position GM to better anticipate, detect and address climate change risks going forward.