Ford CEO Says Global Warming is Real

Alan R. Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Co.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally: “The time for debating whether climate change is real has past. It is time for a conversation about what we, as a society, intend to do to address it.”

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said Monday that global warming is real, manmade and caused in part by auto emissions.

“The vast majority of data indicates that the temperature has increased, and I believe the correlation and the analysis says that is mainly because of the greenhouse gases keeping the heat in. You can just plot it with the Industrial Revolution and the use of all of our resources.

“It’s about sustainability, it’s about mobility, it’s about safety, it’s about (being) stewards of our environment. This is the biggest agenda we have at Ford. I think it’s going to be one of the most important considerations to the customers that buy our products and services going forward.

“I’m just gratified that it seems like, in the court of public opinion, we have moved to the place where we all are starting to appreciate and agree that this really is an issue, and that we all want to do something about it.

“I firmly believe we are at an inflection point in the world’s history as it relates to climate change and energy security. The time for debating whether climate change is real has past It is time for a conversation about what we, as a society, intend to do to address it.”

While Mullally wonders what society should do to address climate change, he failed to say what Ford is going to do about it—except to promote Susan Cischke, Ford’s vice president of environmental and safety engineering, to the newly created post of senior vice president in charge of sustainability, environment and safety engineering.

Dan Becker, director of the global warming program at the Sierra Club, told the New York Times that Ford was good at making promises to help the environment, but “when it comes to doing them they seem to forget or fall down on the job.”

The company abandoned its pledge, made in 2000, to improve the fuel economy of its sport utility vehicles by 25 percent by 2005. Last year, Ford gave up on its plan to sell 250,000 hybrids each year by 2010. Pressure on the auto industry continues to mount as Congress and state governments propose the stiff increases in fuel economy standards required to reduce global warming emissions from vehicles.

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