Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

11 Dec 2018

Sustainability shock

Posted by Michael Keating

We usually expect signals of a shift to sustainability to come from governments or non-government organizations. The announcement by General Motors that it is shutting its huge car manufacturing plant in Oshawa next year is a terrible blow for thousands who work there and for parts suppliers. But it is also a signal of big changes coming as business responds to environmental pressures. As part of the closure of Oshawa and four other plants in the United States, GM said it will stop building a number of gasoline-powered sedans to focus more on electric and self-driving vehicles. GM is just one of the major car makers to signal a shift to cleaner vehicles. Big companies know the world has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and people are slowly migrating to hybrid and all-electric vehicles as their range improves. There is also growing political pressure. A number of countries, particularly in Europe, have said they want to phase out fossil fuel powered vehicles over the next few decades. The challenge for governments and workers is to adapt to the new reality and become part of electric car future.

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