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Image: General Motors
A new, $25 billion climate-equity-focused philanthropic fund will complement GM's $35 billion investment in EV and AV programs globally through 2025.
This week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, General Motors Chair and CEO
Mary Barra announced
an expansion of the automotive giant's climate commitments — specifically, a
focus on what she called “equitable climate action” to help ensure that its
all-electric future is inclusive for its current and future workforce; customers
and communities that may be more likely to disproportionately experience the
effects of climate change.
The company also announced the creation of a new $25 million Climate Equity
Fund, dedicated to helping close equity gaps in the transition to electric
vehicles and other sustainable technology. The philanthropic fund complements
the company's $35 billion global investment in electric and autonomous (EV and
AV) vehicle programs, research, technology, manufacturing and charging
"Climate change does not impact every community equally. As we move to an
all-electric, zero-emissions future, it is on us to lead positive change and
implement inclusive solutions that bring everyone along — especially our
employees and communities," Barra said.
Barra said GM's broader focus on equitable climate action is rooted in four key
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The future of work: The company reinforced the prioritization of its
current workforce, including citing its long history of supporting unions to
promote safety, quality, training and jobs for US workers. GM also publicly
reiterated its support for the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize employees at the
Ohio and Tennessee Ultium Cells LLC battery-cell manufacturing plants.
EV access: The company will offer a wide selection of
across a range of price points, from the Bolt EV to the Cruise
Origin shared autonomous vehicle. GM also recently announced programs
leveraging its HYDROTEC fuel cells for rail and aircraft applications,
which could help pave the way for communities to experience the benefits of
zero-emissions mobility beyond the motor vehicle.
Infrastructure equity: GM is committed to ubiquitous charging solutions
that can help meet customers where they are. The company also understands
the need to help address charging deserts and other scenarios that can
hinder EV ownership.
Climate equity: GM will help fund organizations that are closing the
climate-equity gap at the community
and across these four key areas.
Make mobility safer, more accessible and more environmentally friendly for
Incorporate and normalize equity considerations across its business operations and program implementation efforts — including workforce strategy, sustainability efforts, and products and services.
Work with community-based stakeholders to identify their unique needs, assets and priorities; as well as collaboratively assist impacted communities. For example, GM continues to invest in the ongoing renaissance of its longtime home,
— working to address root causes of inequities by providing education and
workforce development, and collaborating with organizations to help address
the city’s digital divide.
Advocate for inclusive and equitable climate change, renewable energy and
transportation-related policies at the federal, state and local levels to
help ensure a sustainable mobility future for
Help fund organizations that are enabling more equitable access to a sustainable future.
GM is accepting
proposals for funding
from its new Climate Equity Fund — with priority given to grassroots
organizations working at the community level. Potential grantees are encouraged
to submit proposals aligned to GM's four climate equity social pillars.
Published Jul 1, 2021 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST