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Yet, the biggest atonement for these misdeeds should enatil Ford and GM becoming true partners in the transition away from internal combustion engines. Thus far, Ford and GM have indicated that they plan to heavily invest in electric vehicles, yet the auto giants will also need to play a part in countering widespread public misperception about EVs that prevents people from buying them.
The Science:As Scientific American explained, “the basic physics of climate change have been known for more than a century, but it is in recent decades that the fundamental science of global warming has solidified.” Climate change as we know it became news 30 years ago, yet the urgency of the climate crisis wasn’t taken seriously by most lawmakers or the public until recently.
Company scientists, like this exposé reveals, knew about the dangers of unabated emissions, yet they failed to ring any alarm bells for fear of hindering business. A GM spokesperson told E&E news in response to their piece that, “There is nothing we can say about events that happened one or two generations ago since they are irrelevant to the company’s positions and strategy today.”
Going Forward: While EV and hybrid technology didn’t become commercially available in the United States until about 20 years ago, both Ford and GM waited a long time to get into game. How they do from here on out, in terms of the vehicles they sell and the ways in which they shape perception of zero-emissions vehicles through marketing will be the story to watch.
This past summer, Ford signed a binding emissions reductions agreement with California after the Trump administration wouldn’t renew the state’s Clean Air Act waiver to set its own vehicle emissions levels. Meanwhile, California said that it would no longer purchase GM vehicles after the automaker backed the Trump administration’s actions. This could be an indication how how committed each automaker is to climate action.
The Political Equation: GM and Ford sell 75% of their trucks in states that Donald Trump won, and many of those states have governors and legislatures which will not be friendly to expanding electric vehicle infrastructure. This is where Ford and GM must use their political muscle to encourage better adoption of EVs, trade-ins, and other political incentives that help Americans make the switch.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer While attending this year’s virtual G20 summit on Sunday, President Trump blasted the Paris Climate Agreement, which President-elect Joe Biden has promised to rejoin on his first day as president. Trump claimed that the international agreement, which involves the interests of almost 200 sovereign nations all with their own […]
by Miro Korenha, co-founder and publisher of Our Daily Planet After the United States formally withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Joe Biden transition team has repeatedly signaled that rejoining the international agreement will be a Day 1 priority. Biden’s all-of-government approach to climate action will help orient the power of the federal government […]
One of the promises made by President-Elect Joe Biden during the campaign was that his administration would use the full powers of government to fight climate change. To get more bang for his buck (sorry the puns just keeping on rolling along), he need only look to the Department of Defense, with an annual budget […]
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