Starting in 2035, no new car sold in California can be fitted with a diesel or gasoline engine, according to an order signed by the Democratic Governor of California on Wednesday to fight climate change and air pollution.
“This is the most effective step our state can take to combat climate change,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. According to the document, California's highly developed transportation sector is responsible for more than half of the state's carbon emissions.
“For too long decades, we have let cars pollute the air our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn't have to worry about their cars giving children asthma. Our cars should not aggravate forest fires (…) Cars should not melt glaciers or raise the level of the oceans to threaten our beaches and our beloved coasts ”, insisted the governor of the fifth world economic power in terms of GDP.
The order signed Wednesday asks the California Air Quality Agency to develop legislation that will ensure that all cars sold in the state from 2035 will be “zero emissions.” In other words, only vehicles running on electricity, hydrogen and certain hybrid vehicles can be marketed on Californian soil, which would have the effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and by 80%. those of nitrogen oxide.
This will not prevent Californians from owning combustion engine vehicles or reselling them on the second-hand market, notes Governor Newsom in his press release.
For Mr. Newsom, this decision will promote innovation in the clean vehicle sector and help push their selling prices down. According to professionals, more than 1.6 million light vehicles are expected to be sold in California in 2020.
The west coast of the United States, and in particular California, has been plagued since last month by gigantic fires that have killed more than thirty people and destroyed thousands of buildings.
According to scientific consensus, the exceptional scale of these forest fires is in part linked to climate change, which exacerbates chronic drought and causes extreme weather conditions.
During a trip to Northern California, President Donald Trump, accustomed to climate-skeptic statements, played down this role, saying: “I don't think science really knows”.