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Biden takes decisive step to restore California’s vehicle emissions waiver – Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America responds

26 April 2021, 15:05 BST 2 min read

Today, the Biden administration began the process to restore California’s waiver privileges under the Clean Air Act. Through this waiver provision, unlawfully revoked under the previous administration, California can set its own vehicle emissions standards that other states can then adopt.  

“Restoring this waiver is crucial to driving the electric vehicle transition in the US and improving quality of life for all Americans. California is a demonstrated leader in the electric vehicle revolution and their policies provide guidance for other states on building out their own ambitious emissions standards. The ability to set stronger standards will limit harmful vehicle pollution that leads to thousands of premature deaths each year. 

As transportation is the largest source of emissions in the US, the reinstatement of California’s waiver will help drive action in one of the most critical realms. This restoration will also help to fast-track California’s commitment to all electric light-duty vehicle sales by 2035. Additionally, it can pave the way for even stronger federal vehicle emissions standards to achieve 100% electric light-duty vehicle sales ideally by 2030.

We are hopeful for future ambitious actions from the administration to curb emissions from the transportation sector starting with setting federal vehicle emissions standards that will allow us to halve emissions by the end of the decade,” says Amy Davidsen, Executive Director of North America, Climate Group.  

Prior to the revocation of the soon-to-be restored waiver, California, the Under2 Coalition co-chair of North America, already created Low-Emission Vehicle Standards and Zero-Emission Vehicle Standards which many other states adopted as their new vehicle emissions standards. 

After the unveiling of the American Jobs Plan, which proposes to invest $2 trillion in repairing and updating the US’s infrastructure and $174 billion specifically allocated for the electric vehicle market, the President is taking clear steps to restore clean car standards and enable states to further drive the clean energy and vehicle revolution.