The Brown administration on Thursday adopted a goal of making all new passenger vehicles sold in California zero-emission by 2050 – an initiative that, if successful, could dramatically reduce the environmental footprint of the state’s drive-everywhere culture.
The goal was adopted in a nonbinding agreement with 12 other North American and European governments, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Connecticut, Maryland and New York.
“Cleaner vehicles will help California and the world combat the threat of climate change,” Matt Rodriquez, secretary of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency, said in a prepared statement.
The announcement came as Gov. Jerry Brown and other California politicians prepare to travel to France for the international climate summit outside Paris.
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Brown ordered state agencies in 2012 to work toward a goal of putting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025.
But for consumers, concerns linger about the cost and range of such vehicles. The California Air Resources Board estimates there are currently about 155,000 zero-emission vehicles in California.
The transportation sector is the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.