CaliforniaCalifornia is expected to go into effect next Thursday on its comprehensive plan to ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035, a groundbreaking measure that could have major implications for efforts to combat climate change and accelerate the global transition to electric vehicles.
“This is huge,” said Margo Auge, an electric vehicle expert who led the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation emissions program under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “California will now be the only government in the world to require zero-emission vehicles.”
The rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board, would require that 100 percent of all new cars sold in the state by 2035 be free from fossil fuel emissions primarily responsible for global warming, up from the current 12 percent. . It sets interim goals that require 35 percent of new passenger cars sold in the state by 2026 to produce zero emissions. This will rise to 68% by 2030.
The restrictions matter because California is not only the largest auto market in the United States, but more than a dozen other states often follow California’s lead by setting their own auto emissions standards.
“The climate crisis can be resolved if we focus on the big and bold steps needed to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
California’s action comes on top of an expanded new climate law that President Biden signed into law last week. The bill would spend $370 billion in spending and tax credits on clean energy programs, the largest measure the federal government has ever taken to combat climate change. The enactment of this law is expected to help the United States reduce its emissions by 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. However, cutting emissions by 2050 will not suffice, a goal that climate scientists say all major economies must reach if the world is to avoid the most catastrophic and deadly effects of climate change.
To help bridge the gap, White House officials have promised to combine the bill with new regulations, including vehicle exhaust emissions. They also said that cutting emissions enough to go along with the science would also require aggressive state policies.