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Officially: General Motors



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Auto manufacturer General Motors (GM) says it is committed to carbon neutrality in both products and operations by 2040, and is on the road to producing all-electric vehicles. And although, so far, only a quarter of its cars are electric, there are still some reasons to take GM’s environmental claims seriously. 

The company has received high scores from the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). It has registered a short-term, Paris-aligned climate objective with the Science Based Targets Initiative (although we’d prefer it had long-term net zero objectives in place with SBTi as well). GM also has a Chief Sustainability Officer, indicating that the company is considering its climate and environmental performance at the highest levels of leadership. 

But let’s pump the brakes a second. In 2020, it was revealed that GM scientists knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions contribute to climate change but for decades continued to lobby against strong environmental policies. 

Unfortunately, it appears not much has changed. In the 2022 election cycle, GM’s political action committee donated $369,000 to the campaigns of politicians with the worst environmental track records in Congress, an amount 200 percent higher than the average given to the same cohort by other companies in the UNFK database. (Some of GM’s 94,000 U.S. employees may be interested in knowing this, as 80 percent of their own personal political donations actually went to campaigns for candidates with the _best _environmental records.)

GM also maintains relationships with both the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable, two lobbying groups that have a long history of fighting against good climate policies. Finally, General Motors hasn’t yet acknowledged environmental justice as part of its overall racial justice stance and As You Sow’s Racial Justice Scorecard indicates that some of its practices have had negative impacts on BIPOC communities. If it’s going to live up to its “Everybody In” slogan, General Motors still has miles to go.

Factors affecting GM’s UNFK score

  • Has a relationship with the US Chamber of Commerce and/or its affiliates: yes
  • Has a relationship with Business Roundtable: yes
  • Has a relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): not likely
  • InfluenceMap Grade: C-
  • Carbon Disclosure Project: Climate Change Grade: A-
  • Carbon Disclosure Project: Water Grade: A-
  • Carbon Disclosure Project: Forests Grade: C
  • Science Based Targets Initiative Commitment: Net Zero
  • As You Sow Racial Justice Score (0-100): 57
  • As You Sow Road to Net Zero Score (0-18): 6
  • Banking Score (0-100): 0

GM’s contributions last election cycle: 2022

(source: Open Secrets)

GM’s Total PAC Contributions to Climate FKers:


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GM’s Total Individual Contributions to Climate FKers:


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Total amount GM contributed to Climate FKers (PAC + Individual Contributions)


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GM’s PAC and employees contributed funds to the campaigns of 104 Climate FKers

Cathy’s Portrait
Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Republican Representative from Washington

They gave Cathy $10,000

John’s Portrait
John Thune

Republican Senator from South Dakota

They gave John $10,000

Mike’s Portrait
Mike Lee

Republican Senator from Utah

They gave Mike $10,000

How GM Can Raise Its Score

  • Align environmental policy and performance with environmental rhetoric  
  • Cut ties with Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce (and affiliates)  
  • Define a year (with SBTi) by which company will achieve net zero emissions 
  • Stop contributions to congresspeople with lifetime LCV scores of 20 and below
  • Include environmental justice as part of company’s overall racial justice stance
  • Ensure the company’s business operations are environmentally just

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