Cars for sale at a California dealership.MIKE BLAKE / Reuters
The State of California, the largest automobile market in the United States, will ban gasoline cars from 2035. The measure is the most ambitious of a series of goals set in an executive order presented Wednesday by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The goal is the most ambitious so far in the country, and is in line with what has been approved by some European governments.
The decision sets the stage for a new confrontation with the Trump Administration, which has been in litigation for years to sabotage California's emission reduction policies.
The initiative comes in the midst of what Newsom has called "a bloody climate emergency," with a record number of acres burned by fires not just in California, but the entire West Coast.
The State already had the most ambitious gas emission reduction targets in the country (there is a law that requires 100% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2045), but Newsom has considered that the situation requires speeding up the deadlines. more possible.
The fires, of a size and speed never seen before in a state accustomed to them, have burned 1.3 million hectares so far this year.
The governor's order sets an objective, it does not regulate it.
What it does is order the state environmental authority (CARB) to develop the regulation that leads to that goal.
All cars and passenger vehicles sold in California in 2035 will have to be zero emissions.
The mandate includes cargo trucks to be zero-emission as well by 2045, but as a recommendation.
The brutal fire season has placed climate change among the thorniest issues in the election campaign, as the Donald Trump Administration is officially skeptical of this issue, if not outright denial.
California, with historical air quality problems due to the culture of mass car use, has had permission for half a century to set stricter emission reduction targets than the federal ones.
This forces manufacturers to adapt to what this State says (15 others follow its guidelines) when designing their vehicles.
California accounts for 11% of all car sales in the United States.
The Trump administration eliminated by decree California's authority to set its own emission limits.
The matter is pending in court.
Asked a White House spokeswoman on Wednesday about the decision on cars, she said it was "an example of how extreme the left has become" and that President Trump "is not going to allow it."
The decision was also criticized by representatives of the automobile and oil industries.
According to figures from the California Environmental Authority, the transportation sector is responsible for half of the state's carbon dioxide pollution.
The governor's office estimates that the measure will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35%.
Currently, electric cars account for 8% of sales in California.