California Announces New Under 2 MOU Signatories, International Effort to Accelerate Zero-Emission Vehicles

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Contact: Alex Barnum

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California Announces New Under 2 MOU Signatories, International Effort to Accelerate Zero-Emission Vehicles


SACRAMENTO—As the state’s top climate officials prepare to join world leaders at the U.N. Climate Change Conference this week, California today announced an effort by 13 North American and European governments to make all new passenger vehicles sold in their jurisdictions zero-emission by 2050. Additionally, it was announced that eight new signatories have joined the Under 2 MOU climate pact.

With more than 190 nations convening in Paris to negotiate a landmark climate agreement, the announcements demonstrate the growing momentum among national and sub-national governments for ambitious goals to reduce climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions.

“Cleaner vehicles will help California and the world combat the threat of climate change,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “California is a leader in the growing market for zero-emission vehicles, with half of the ZEVs on U.S. roads. The work we do with other leading states and countries will accelerate growth and provide benefits in California and around the world.”

California is joining with 12 partners in Europe and North America, as members of the International ZEV Alliance, to drive the global transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Achieving the 2050 goal will reduce emissions from the transportation sector consistent with what is needed to meet long-term climate targets.

In addition to California, members of the alliance include Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom in Europe; Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont in the United States; and Québec in Canada.

International ZEV Alliance partners are already leaders in the rapidly growing market for ZEVS, which include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Together the jurisdictions account for about half of zero-emission vehicle sales worldwide.

Large-scale adoption of electric vehicles, in concert with increasing renewable energy sources, is not only essential for limiting climate change impacts, but will also improve air quality and public health, end global dependence on petroleum, and grow the low-carbon economy.

In 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order directing state government to help accelerate adoption of zero-emission vehicles in California toward a goal of 1.5 million ZEVs by the year 2025. Since then, the California market has grown significantly, with California now accounting for about 50 percent of ZEVs nationwide.

California was a founding partner of the International ZEV Alliance in September. For more information and to read the announcement, visit the International ZEV Alliance website.

Additionally, California is welcoming eight new signatories to the Under 2 MOU, the global pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions.

To date, 65 jurisdictions from 20 countries and five continents have now signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, collectively representing more than $17.9 trillion in GDP and 588 million people. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the largest economy in the world by GDP, surpassing the United States.

One of the new signatories is Connecticut, which announced today it had signed the Under 2 MOU, becoming the eighth American state to sign the pact.

“Connecticut has set an aggressive goal for reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change – and is determined to do so in a manner that improves our environment and air quality while increasing our energy security, building our economy, and creating jobs,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “We are making strong progress on all fronts and our state has emerged as a national leader on climate action.  Signing the Under 2 MOU aligns us with other jurisdictions who share our deep commitment to protecting the future of our planet and safeguarding the well-being of every one who lives here.”

Over the past two weeks, the Under 2 MOU has also been signed by leaders from Pernambuco, a state in northeastern Brazil, and six European regions: the Swiss cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft; the French region of Alsace and the Department of Bas-Rhin, a region within Alsace; and the Dutch regions of North and South Holland.

Under the agreement, signatories commit to either reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieve a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050. These targets allow each individual government to tailor emission reduction plans to fit regional needs.

Originally published by the California Environmental Protection Agency