WASHINGTON (December 20, 2021)—Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final standards for emissions from cars and light trucks. These standards, which cover model years 2023 through 2026, are significantly stronger than the rules put in place under the previous administration, taking an important step toward a cleaner future. But, as automotive technology advances and the climate crisis grows more urgent, these standards must only be the first step for this administration, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of UCS.
“The science is sending us an unmistakable message: we can, and must, reduce the emissions that are threatening the stability of our climate. And since the biggest source of these climate-endangering emissions is transportation, we have to put strong rules in place to clean up the cars and light trucks on our roads. Today’s announcement is a welcome and necessary response to this threat: these rules will deliver cleaner cars to the country’s drivers.
“The administration listened to the science in strengthening its proposal—and it should again listen to the science by setting its sights even higher. The new standards go a long way to undoing the damage done by the previous administration, but to stem climate catastrophe we must set our ambitions higher and demand more. We need policies that will cut global warming emissions 60 percent by 2030 and put us on a path to 100 percent electric vehicle sales. We know the industry can meet this moment. They’ve publicly ‘aspired’ to do so—but we need this administration to continue to press them to make those promises real.
“Climate change poses a threat that’s more undeniable with each passing day. We need policies that meet the urgency of this challenge. We call on the administration to move quickly and create much stronger standards for 2027 and beyond to build upon today’s progress.”
Dave Cooke, senior vehicles analyst for the Clean Transportation Program at UCS, wrote about the benefits of vehicle standards and the need for strengthening them here.