PHILADELPHIA – The European Union reached a deal on Wednesday to pass a new climate law that will require new car sales to be zero-emission by 2035. As the third largest climate polluter in the world, behind China and the United States, the EU is following through on the international commitment to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.
Here in the U.S., California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington have all committed to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 or sooner. President Joe Biden has also directed the federal government to purchase 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for its fleet of over 600,000 vehicles.
In response, Environment America Destination: Zero Carbon Campaign Director Morgan Folger issued the following statement:
“Europe’s new law will shift the global auto market to clean, zero-emission cars that we need to limit climate pollution. Without stronger policies here in America, we’re at risk of falling behind as our neighbors on the other side of the Atlantic speed toward a zero-carbon transportation future. Aside from China and India, our country’s cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles emit more total carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the entire economy of any other country in the world. It’s time for the U.S. to catch up to the EU by setting our own 100% zero-emission vehicle goal.”
PIRG Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale said:
“Some European countries have long led on the transition to electric cars: Who could forget the famous Will Ferrell Super Bowl ad, where he called on the U.S. to catch up to Norway, which sells far more electric cars per capita than we do? Now, with this new commitment, EU member nations are catching up to their northern European neighbors. Now, it’s the United States’ turn to prioritize healthy air and a stable climate by completely phasing out fossil fuel-powered cars and embracing a clean transportation future.”