October 26, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Major global businesses and advocacy organizations are calling on an international council of government leaders to make clear that binding policies are needed worldwide to ensure that all new passenger and light-duty vehicles sold are zero emission by 2035.
In a pair of letters delivered today to the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council, the signatories urged the Council to set clear guidance on strong, clean vehicle policies.
Ministers from the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, and Canada, are among those who serve on the Zero Emission Transition Council, which was established in 2020, to “achieve political cooperation on the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).”
More than 50 companies signed the business letter, including eBay, Etsy, PepsiCo, Uber, and Unilever. The Council “has a critical opportunity to call on the world’s nations to set bold transportation electrification policies “that will strengthen our economies, improve air quality, save consumers and businesses money, and mitigate climate risk,” the businesses wrote.
Thirty-seven organizations in more than 20 countries signed the advocacy letter, calling on the governments participating in the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council to “lobby all countries ahead of the COP26 meeting to implement unambiguous policies that accelerate the shift to a zero-emission transport future,” including Ceres (North America), Transport & Environment (Europe), Solutions for our Climate (South Korea), Iniciativa Climática de México, and the Australian Conservation Foundation.
“As a company committed to reducing the carbon impact of the logistics sector, Etsy supports expanding adoption of zero emissions vehicles,” said Chelsey Evans, senior manager of sustainability at Etsy. “Setting policies that get more zero emissions vehicles on the road is key to tackling the climate crisis. We believe that doing so can strengthen the global economy and reduce climate pollution.”
The call to action comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in November, where governments will come together to accelerate action toward the goal of the Paris Agreement. Both letters emphasize that the pace of change on clean vehicle policy is too slow. Transportation is the leading source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which warm the planet and fuel heat waves, drought, and storms. Vehicle emissions also contain toxic pollutants that cause serious health issues, including heart and respiratory diseases.
“COP26 is a critical moment for the ZEV Council to raise the bar by pushing for bold action from governments to decarbonize transportation,” said Adam Gromis, Global Lead, Sustainability & Environmental Impact at Uber. “Ambitious electrification policies are needed to help meet today's urgent climate goals and ensure an equitable transition to ZEVs for all drivers, while also promoting economic growth and clean air. We can do it together.”
“We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to protect our climate and the health of people across the globe by putting the world in the fast lane to widespread zero emissions vehicle adoption,” said Carol Lee Rawn, senior director of transportation at Ceres. “Zero emission vehicles ensure cost savings that benefit both businesses and consumers and lower the risk of volatile fuel prices through reduced dependence on oil. We urge the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council to work to ensure the adoption of strong policies, which are necessary to make sure that, by 2035 at the latest, 100% of passenger vehicles sold are zero emission vehicles.”
A recent analysis from Ceres shows that strong vehicle standards in the United States would drive electrification at the rate and scale necessary to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“This summer has been devastating for our communities. Our friends, family and neighbors have been on the frontlines of heatwaves, wildfires, flooding, and more, in the US and globally. Transportation continues to be the sector most responsible for climate-disrupting pollution in the US, and we need environmental regulations to pave a different path forward, for the well-being of communities today and for future generations,” said Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz. “That means the Biden administration must finalize strong standards right now that will put us on a path to 100% electric passenger vehicle sales by 2035, act on climate, and protect public health.”
“As advanced economies and home to the world's largest automobile manufacturers, S. Korea and Japan have a major responsibility to bring their transition to zero-emissions vehicle fleets forward in alignment with the Paris Agreement. Failure to put forth progressive regulations will not only undermine global climate action but threaten the competitiveness of their automotive industries,” said Joojin Kim, managing director of Solutions for Our Climate.
"The technology is there and we just need the political will to scale it up, whether in Brazil, Bulgaria or Bangladesh,” said Julia Poliscanova, senior director for emobility at the European organisation Transport & Environment. “Governments should pledge to go to emissions-free vehicles - from cars to most trucks - by 2035 at the latest, and then follow up with regulatory measures to make it a reality. In Europe that means EU vehicle CO2 standards should be strengthened from 2025 onwards to get us to zero emissions a decade later."
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.