California’s Car Culture Shows The Way In Climate Fight

May 30, 2021 12:41 PM AEST | By Team Kalkine Media
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Californians do not just love their cars, but they are also leading the way in reducing vehicular pollution in the fight against climate change. Vehicular pollution has been a major issue in the state, known for its cliff-lined sparkling sandy beaches and the iconic Hollywood film industry.

Now, living up to its name as a responsible state, Governor Gavin Newsom has pledged to phase out the gasoline-powered polluting vehicles by 2035, a significant decision considering most states are still skeptical about how such a shift may affect the country’s auto industry in the short term.

California is the first state in the United States to commit to such goals after France, the UK, and Germany. Last year, electric car sales accounted for a minuscule 2.8% of the state’s total automotive sale, reminding the steep challenge that lay ahead in making EVs a mainstay on the roads.

In the coming years, therefore, the primary task of the government would be to build the required infrastructure to make the shift easy from diesel-guzzling engines to electric vehicles. The latest government directive, though, does not prevent Californians from owning their gasoline cars.

To meet the climate goals, California is focusing more on renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. In a significant move in 2017, California had also adopted a law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

The California Air Resources Board, the pollution control authority, has been making environmental policies for the state since 1967. It has now stepped-up efforts to meet the climate goals in line with the set deadline of the federal administration.

Source: Pixabay. 

Infrastructure Requirement

While the government has made clear its intensions on the climate issue, the fight against pollution will be lacking without the support of the industry and the public at large. For instance, for the shift to EVs, the industry will need to install charging stations. Gas stations will have to give way to EV stations. And electricity providers may have to adopt new technologies that do not have blackouts.

Also Read: How climate change policies are impacting oil giants: opportunity vs risk

Industry Participation

Today, most automobile manufacturers are focusing on reducing carbon footprint. Many of them have launched their EV projects or planning to start. Swedish carmaker Volvo cars, now owned by China’s Geely Group, will soon launch a green bond to its electric vehicle program.

German auto giant BMW aims to reduce 40% carbon emissions per kms in their future cars. It plans to manufacture around seven million electric vehicles in the next ten years.

Global Climate Efforts

Norway has set a target of 2025 to fully shift to emission less vehicles. France aims to end the sale of fossil fuel-run cars by 2040.

The UK plans to reduce gasoline vehicles by 2035, and Canada aims to shift to 100% electric cars by 2040. China also has set a target of 2017 to end the sale of combustion engines.


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