By: Emma Thomas
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a plan of action to cut global carbon emissions. Still, it requires the act of 7% of new vehicles to be electric by 2032, a goal thought to be unrealistic and insufficient to combat climate change. Additionally, the Associated Press estimates that nearly 80% of vehicles being driven in the United States would still run on diesel or gasoline fuel.
EPA’s Point of View
The Agency fully believes that the proposal that they have come up with will significantly reduce pollution levels. It estimates that passenger vehicle carbon dioxide emissions would fall by 47% by 2055, the time by which the EPA expects most gas-powered vehicles to be departed.
Not only this, but the EPA is also proposing massive reductions from other sources of greenhouse gases, including heavy trucks, electric power plants, and the oil and gas industry.
Through 2055, EPA projects that the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, according to EPA’s website, it would reduce other harmful air pollution and lead to fewer premature deaths and patients being admitted to hospitals for respiratory/cardiovascular illnesses. Not only this, but the EPA has analyzed that, following their proposal, severe health impacts related to particulate matter exposure will also be reduced- including lung disorders, heart disease, and premature mortality.
Is This Goal Enough?
Daniel Becker, director of the safe climate transport campaign at the Centre for Biological Diversity, quoted Auto (Economic Times) saying, “We need to do a hell of a lot more.”
He wants and believes that the EPA needs to cut down emissions even further to counteract the effects of climate change due to the endless rising of carbon dioxide and methane levels. These gases will continue to pollute the environment as time goes on without ceasing if humans carry on the current path. Already, the earth is experiencing record high temperatures and is only a few tenths of a degree from the goal set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Celsius)
In March, United Nations scientists discussed that there was still time to prevent the worst harm from climate change; unfortunately, the scientists believe that the world would have to cut down nearly two-thirds of carbon emissions by 2035.
Peter Slowik, a senior Electric Vehicle (EV) researcher with the nonprofit International Council on Clean Transportation, stated, “The EPA proposal is a really great start to putting us on a Paris-compatible path” to The Economic Times. Nevertheless, he believes the EPA’s mission is insufficient to fulfill the Paris Accord. Slowik calculated that to cut emissions enough to reach the Paris Agreement goal, the proportion of new EV and hybrid vehicles would have to reach 67% by 2030, yet the EPA has only projected 60% by then.
Though the EPA provides a proposal that is along the track of slowing down and eventually stopping the effects of climate change, more is needed, according to multiple scientists on the UN panel, and more changes need to be executed.