In order to meet its climate priorities, Connecticut must address the sector that causes more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the state: transportation. Clean cars are essential to meeting those priorities. A study released this week by Save the Sound shows that adopting California’s Advanced Clean Cars II Zero-Emissions Vehicle requirements would not only help Connecticut meet its mandate of reducing greenhouse gas emissions—to 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050—but that the policy would also be good for the economy.
Connecticut Electric Vehicle Policy Impact Study, conducted by the international climate change consulting firm EBP, observes that “the absence of the policy would jeopardize achieving Connecticut’s clean air and carbon emission reduction goals and efforts to improve public health.” Moreover, the report concludes that the economic and societal benefits of adopting California’s standards are “compelling and significant.” Among those anticipated benefits:
- $25.7 billion of value added to Connecticut’s GDP
- $40.1 billion increase in net business income
- 128,200 net new job-years in CT
- 137 million metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of planting 3.5 billion trees
The emissions reductions are expected to deliver improvements across 24 personal and societal metrics including human health, productivity, social equity, food and water security, biodiversity, and mitigation of natural disasters such as wildfires and flooding.
Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney for Save the Sound, said: “The best science tells us that immediate action is needed in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. This report makes it clear that, in addition to the obvious environmental benefits of transitioning to clean vehicles, there are significant economic benefits as well. Given the current and growing impacts of climate change, we know that inaction will be more costly than action. Connecticut should act this year to fully adopt the standards approved by the General Assembly in 2022 to keep our state in a leadership position on clean cars.”
Samantha Dynowski, state director, Sierra Club Connecticut, said, “This new report makes it abundantly clear that reducing transportation pollution is not only good for the planet and for clean air, it’s also good for the economy. Connecticut should waste no time in adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II and the Advanced Clean Trucks regulations. The sooner these policies are in place, the sooner our residents can enjoy the significant public health, climate and economic benefits of these clean transportation policies.”
“This report underscores the considerable benefits of Advanced Clean Cars II in terms of reduced costs of vehicle ownership, economic development, and public health savings,” said Barry Kresch, president, EV Club of CT. “The single most important step we can take to reduce pollution from carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other gases is to electrify the transportation sector.”
John Livermore, principal, sustainable energy, for consultant EBP, said, “EBP is pleased to partner with Save the Sound on this study which demonstrates not only robust economic impacts and environmental, health, and other societal benefits, but also new economic development opportunities to grow EV-related industries in Connecticut.”
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency issued new emissions standards for light duty vehicles on April 12 that will spur increased investment in the production of electric vehicles. The new standards, which would begin in 2027 and run through 2032, are expected to result in electric vehicles accounting for approximately 67 percent of vehicle sales nationwide. Finalizing the Advanced Clean Cars II Zero-Emissions Vehicle requirements this year will help put Connecticut ahead of the curve on reaching our state climate commitments.
Connecticut is not undertaking this transformation alone. The state is one of a group of 18, including California, that are developing and following complementary pathways to greatly reduce vehicle emissions. Each of Connecticut’s neighboring states—Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York—along with other states in New England and the Mid-Atlantic and other regions are following these pathways, structuring them to best serve their state’s particular environment and needs within common frameworks.
Read the full report here.