General Motors

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
66%
Organisation Score
49%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Detroit, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: General Motors (GM) is highly engaged in US climate legislation with mixed but increasingly positive positioning in 2020-22. The company appears to support some measures to accelerate the electrification of road transport in the US, including EV tax credits in the US Build Back Better Act, however it also continues to have more negative engagement on GHG emissions standards for both light and heavy duty road vehicles, both at the state and federal level.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: GM has positive top-line messaging on climate change in 2020-22. In an April 2021 presentation to the EU Commission found via FOI, General Motors expressed support for GHG emissions reductions in line with the 1.5°C target. In its 2021 Sustainability Report published in April 2022, the company appeared to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as re-entry of the US into the Agreement in a January 2021 C2ES joint letter. In a January 2021 press release, GM CEO, Mary Barra, expressed support for government regulation to respond to climate change, stating that “as one of the world’s largest automakers, General Motors seeks to lead our industry and our world toward zero by 2050 goals". In January 2022, The Hill reported that GM CEO, Mary Barra, met with President Biden to show support for climate provisions in the US Build Back Better Act. GM has also signalled support for policies that put a price on carbon, for example in its 2021 Sustainability Report published in April 2022.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In a September 2022 press release, GM advocated for tougher US federal light-duty vehicle emissions standards to ensure at least 50% of new light-duty vehicles sold by 2030 are zero-emissions and consistent with eliminating tailpipe emissions from new passenger vehicles by 2035. In a September 2021 US consultation response, however, General Motors appeared to support a mid-range proposal for increasing the stringency of US GHG emissions standards for light-duty vehicles in 2023-2026, while supporting numerous flexibilities in compliance to weaken the stringency of the proposal, and appearing unsupportive of the higher proposed standards from the EPA. More negativey, at a January 2022 CEO Roundtable meeting with President Biden, General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, appeared unsupportive of ambitious US GHG emissions standards for vehicles, referring to the goals as “aggressive”. While the company states that it supports the EPA's proposed ‘historically stringent’ GHG standards for vehicles in its 2021 Public Policy report, it has a history of opposing ambitious standards in the US.

While GM previously opposed California’s ability to set its own emissions standards, repeatedly signaling its support for a national standard and entering into legal proceedings against California on the matter, in November 2020, GM withdrew from this legal action, and in June 2021 appeared to change position, announcing support for California's standards in a letter to the EPA. However, in a September 2021 US consultation response, GM again appeared to oppose California setting more ambitious GHG emissions standards for vehicles, appearing to support one national program only. GM also appeared to support weaker national US energy efficiency standards for light-duty vehicles according to a March 2021 Tampa Bay Times media report.

Regarding other US federal climate policy, in April 2021, General Motors signed a joint letter that stated support for a 50% US GHG emissions reduction target for 2030. GM also signed a joint letter in July 2021 directly advocating to Congress to support a US Federal Clean Energy Standard that will achieve 100% clean energy by 2035.

Positioning on Energy Transition: General Motors appears to have increasingly positive engagement on policies promoting the electrification of light-duty vehicles in 2021-22. In a September 2022 press release, General Motors published a set of recommendations advocating for 50% of new light-duty vehicles sold in the United States by 2030 to be zero-emissions, as well as an effective 2035 US ICE phase-out target. General Motors has supported several measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in the US, such as the expansion of EV charging infrastructure, as reported by CNBC in June 2022. At a January 2022 CEO Roundtable meeting with President Biden, General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, appeared to advocate for higher EV tax credits as part of the US Build Back Better bill. More recently, in a March 2022 Detroit News article, GM further appeared to support a higher US tax credit for EV purchases built by union-represented workers, while in a June 2022 joint letter to Congress, GM directly advocated for the removal of an EV tax credit cap in the US. In June 2021, GM testified in support of Senate Bill 500, which mandates all autonomous vehicles in California must be zero-emission beginning in 2030. In November 2021, GM also signed a global pledge made at COP26 supporting a global phase out of ICE-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. However, in a May 2022 consultation response, GM took an unclear position on California's Advanced Clean Cars II rule, which aims to gradually increase the number of zero-emission vehicles sold in California up till 2035, appearing to support numerous flexibilities that may weaken the policy's stringency, including increasing historic banked credits, expanding early action credits and doubling the maximum usage allowances for pooling.

General Motors appears to have engaged more negatively on US climate policy in the heavy-duty sector. For example, in a May 2022 EPA consultation response on federal heavy-duty vehicle emission standards, GM appeared to support a long-term role for ICE-powered HDVs over the rapid decarbonization of heavy-duty transportation. Additionally, in a May 2020 consultation response to California Air Resources Board (CARB), GM advocated to delay the introduction of ZEV sales requirements for heavy-duty pickup trucks from 2027 to 2030 in the state’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation, arguing that the proposed targets are “ambitious and potentially over-optimistic”.

Industry Association Governance: General Motors discloses its memberships to key industry associations in its Public Policy Supplement, released alongside its 2021 Sustainability Report in April 2022. It includes an industry association review that discloses some of GM's industry associations’ climate policy positions and GM's alignment and influence around this. The company disclosed partial misalignment with its memberships of two industry associations in the review, including the US Chamber of Commerce, which has negatively lobbied US climate legislation, and Business Roundtable, which has mixed engagement with US climate policy. In September 2021, GM's CEO, Mary Barra, was appointed chair of Business Roundtable. GM is a member of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which has mixed engagement on US climate policy, as well as the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), both of which have negative engagement on climate legislation in the US and Korea respectively.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

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DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
52%
 
52%
 
83%
 
83%
 
28%
 
28%
 
54%
 
54%
 
29%
 
29%
 
28%
 
28%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.