Trump to revoke California’s authority to set tougher vehicle emissions standards | Climate Group Skip to main content

Trump to revoke California’s authority to set tougher vehicle emissions standards

18 September 2019, 15:26 UTC 3 min read

Today President Trump has announced that he will revoke California’s power to set more ambitious vehicle emissions standards than the federal government.

Although California will almost certainly challenge the move in court, the roll back would mean that no state could set more stringent vehicle emissions standards than those of the federal government. 

Responding to the news, Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America at international non-profit The Climate Group, said:

“This revocation would constitute a huge backwards step from the federal government at a time when air pollution has become a global public health crisis.

“This short-sighted move will not deter California and other US states from adopting ambitious measures to reduce carbon pollution, and it is good to see major automakers publicly pledging to maintain the current emissions standards.

“As we enter a decade of critical climate action, we need continued, unwavering global leadership and focus from state and regional governments and businesses to keep us on track to limit global warming.”

As a member of the Under2 Coalition of ambitious state and regional governments, for which The Climate Group is Secretariat, California is a global role model for state-level climate action. The state has proactively taken steps to improve air quality and health and  met its 2020 emissions reduction target four years early in 2016.

California’s current regulation means automakers must meet more stringent fleet emissions standards by 2025 to limit greenhouse gas emissions. These standards are also adopted by 13 other US states seeking to limit greenhouse gas emissions to improve air quality and tackle climate change.

Former Governor of California Jerry Brown co-founded the Under2 Coalition in 2015, which now includes 12 US states as members, alongside over 220 members globally.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact [email protected] / [email protected]  

  • By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the state has demonstrated how climate action and a growing economy can go together. The state’s economy grew much faster than any other US state during the same period and the US economy as a whole, becoming the 5th largest in the world in 2018.  
  • The Global Climate Action from Cities, Regions and Businesses Report, released yesterday found that US states, cities and businesses could lower US emissions 25 to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

About the Under2 Coalition

The Under2 Coalition is a global community of state and regional governments committed to ambitious climate action in line with the Paris Agreement. The coalition is made up of more than 220 governments who represent over 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy.

Governments in the coalition commit to keeping global temperature rises to well below 2°C with efforts to reach 1.5°C. Ten states and regions in the coalition have committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

The Climate Group is the Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition and works with governments across three key workstreams: long-term emissions reduction planning, scaling up the implementation of great climate policy, and increasing accountability for climate targets.

About The Climate Group

The Climate Group’s mission is to accelerate climate action. Our goal is a world of no more than 1.5°C of global warming and greater prosperity for all, without delay.

We do this by bringing together powerful networks of business and governments that shift global markets and policies. We act as a catalyst to take innovation and solutions to scale, using the power of communications to build ambition and pace. We focus on the greatest global opportunities for change.

We are an international non-profit organization, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York. Climate Week NYC is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discusses how to do more.

Our business campaigns are brought to you as part of the We Mean Business coalition, and we lead business initiatives on energy productivity (EP100), renewable power (RE100) and electric vehicles (EV100). Visit and follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup and Facebook @TheClimateGroup