Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking bold steps towards a cleaner state.
On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new order that will see all new gas cars and trucks banned by 2035. The phasing out of gas-fueled vehicles will essentially see an increase in zero-emission transportation such as battery-powered electric cars and cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells. While gasoline vehicles will still be allowed to be used and sold, the sale of new ones will be prohibited. Although, there is currently no indication of how this will be penalized.
Record heatwaves. Record wildfires.
Climate change is real. The time for action is now.
By 2035 every new car sold in CA will be an emission free vehicle. https://t.co/RPWOKWn1bJ
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 24, 2020
Newsom’s executive order followed a summer of record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires that have raged through more than 100,000 acres of California. However, the devastation goes beyond the loss of precious forests, homes and memories. The effects of the smoke adversely impact air quality, creating a greater risk of harming the respiratory health of residents.
“If you want to reduce asthma, if you want to mitigate the rise of sea level, if you want to mitigate the loss of ice sheets around the globe, then this is a policy for other states to follow,” the governor said in a press conference.
In a tweet, he emphasized that 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of smog-forming pollution, and 95% of toxic diesel emissions are a result of transportation. Heavy-duty trucks will also be required to be zero-emission by 2035 and by 2045 for all medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
During the conference an important aspect of the order was highlighted, being that cleaner public transport solutions that are accessible to all Californians, particularly those who are low-income will become a priority across the state.
A number of automobile manufacturers like Audi Volvo, BMW and Honda have shown support for this move, with Newsom adding that this is a big opportunity for competition in the space.
This historic step will make California the first state in the US to take such drastic actions towards a cleaner future. It is also the largest vehicle market in the country which means the change could have wider impacts across the nation.
[Featured Image: Daniel Lee via Unsplash]