FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2023
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Michigan Faith Leaders delivered a letter with roughly 15,500 signatures to GM HQ asking the company to commit to full electrification by 2035 without exception
DETROIT, M.I. – Faith leaders with Michigan Interfaith Power & Light visited General Motors Headquarters on Tuesday to deliver a letter to CEO Mary Barra asking the auto giant to make a firm commitment to exclusively sell electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035. The letter was signed by roughly 15,500 people concerned that General Motors is not on track to meet its own electrification targets. The faith leaders asked to set a meeting with Barra’s office but were rejected and escorted from the premises.
“We envision a world where mobility is clean, affordable, and accessible for all. Where our kids and neighbors breathe clean air, where workers are treated with dignity, and where materials needed for manufacturing are ethically sourced. Clean, affordable electric vehicles are one important piece of this vision,” said Leah Wiste, Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. “Unfortunately, GM’s leadership didn’t want to hear about all that. But we want them to know: we’ve heard your promises on EVs. We expect you to deliver results!”
Despite its multi-million dollar ad campaign to promote its EV models, General Motors lags behind its competitors in EV production and sales – less than 2% of its total U.S. sales in 2022 were EVs. Several of its highly publicized EV models are unavailable for purchase or sold out for years. GM already pushed back its original goal of delivering 400,000 EVs in North America from 2023 to 2024.
“’All creation is groaning, all creation is waiting for the revealing of the children of God…’ By the grace of God we are all, personally and corporately, forgiven children of God whose highest calling is to step up to be, to show the world what God intended us to be,” said Rev. John Schleicher, retired Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – NW Lower MI Synod. “All of us, GM included, are to be agents of healing and restoration of the Earth we have so badly damaged. The IPCC has made it clear we have very little time left to avoid the ever worsening environmental catastrophes. Today we plead with GM to keep its promises, to honor and fulfill its timetables for the production of EV’s. Because the Earth is waiting.”
“We all have a sacred responsibility to take care of this planet and take care of each other. That includes General Motors,” said Dr. Calvin Glass, Pastor of Lord of Lords Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. “And as the world’s leading climate scientists noted just last week, our time is running out to get climate change under control. Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and we need GM to get serious about slashing emissions before time runs out. Being a good neighbor means taking care of those in your community. As GM’s neighbors, we’re asking them to listen to us and take action.”