Biden Admin Joins Global Pact to Achieve 100% New Electric Car and Truck Sales by 2040
In its latest push towards electrification, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. has signed the Global Memorandum of Understanding (Global MOU) on Zero-Emission Medium-and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Thursday at the COP27 UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The memorandum sets a goal of ensuring 100 percent of new bus and truck sales are electric by 2040 and 30 percent by 2030.
“We have to work together across oceans and borders to meet our clean energy goals,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement reported by clean transportation nonprofit CALSTART. “This global partnership will leverage the billions of dollars in clean transportation investments provided by President Biden’s agenda to drive technological innovation, lower vehicle costs, and reduce transportation emissions.”
CALSTART — through its Drive to Zero campaign — worked with the Netherlands to launch the Global MOU at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, according to the Drive to Zero website. The campaign aims to fast track the transition to zero emission commercial vehicles with the goal of making them the vehicle of choice by 2040. Before Thursday, sixteen nations had signed the Global MOU including Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Uruguay, Switzerland, Turkey, Scotland, Wales and the UK as a whole.
On Thursday, 10 more nations signed on, including the U.S.
“The United States sends a powerful message today to the international community that it will work strategically and collaboratively to transition the commercial vehicle sector to zero-emissions. Today’s action will advance zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, boost our economy, and create good paying jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” CAlSTART CEO John Boesel said in a statement.
President Joe Biden’s decision to sign was encouraged by 16 Congresspeople led by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), who signed a joint letter urging action ahead of COP27.
“The Global MOU will help continue domestic economic growth in the manufacturing sector and deliver climate benefits that complement the historic investments made in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA),” the lawmakers wrote.
Also ahead of COP27, CALSTART calculated that the U.S. could prevent 718 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and 1,030 million metric tons by 2050 if it signed the memorandum.
The Sierra Club noted that phasing out highly polluting buses and trucks would have other benefits as well.
“Communities around the world are burdened by toxic diesel pollution every day — this shift to electric trucks and buses cannot come soon enough,” Sierra Club Clean Transportation for All campaign director Katherine García said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch. “By signing this global MOU, the U.S. is committing to slash pollution from the most polluting vehicles on the road. This will signal to manufacturers that the days of polluting trucks and buses are numbered.”
The other nations to sign on to the Global MOU at the most recent COP were Ireland, Aruba, Belgium, Croatia, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and — despite currently fending off a Russian invasion — Ukraine.
“Currently, Ukraine is going through rough times: we are defending ourselves against Russian military aggression and fighting for the lives of our people. But we are sure that we will win. And we understand the importance of our victory for the entire civilized world. That is why we are ready to sign agreements related to the future of Ukraine and the future of the whole world already now,” Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a statement reported by Drive to Zero. “Our country fully understands and supports important decisions on preserving the ecology of the planet.”
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