Electric cars

Climate change report warns it’s ‘now or never’ to stop global warming

Climate change report warns it's 'now or never' to stop global warming

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that average annual global greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 to 2019 have reached their highest levels in human history and that urgent action is needed.

The report released on Monday said emissions must be reduced across all sectors and countries should seek to wean themselves off fossil fuels, including industry and the transport sector.

“It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),” said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III. “Without immediate and deep emission reductions across all sectors, this will be impossible.”

The assessment report notes that renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind and batteries have fallen in price by up to 85%, which should encourage their deployment.

” We are at the crossroads. The decisions we make now can ensure a viable future. We have the tools and the know-how to limit warming,” said IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee.

“I am encouraged by the climate measures taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more broadly and equitably, they can support deep emission reductions and spur innovation.

Global emissions are expected to be halved across all sectors by 2030 through reduced use of fossil fuels, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency and fuel use alternatives such as hydrogen, urged the IPCC, although it acknowledged that the rate of growth has slowed.

In the transportation sector, President Joe Biden wants to “electrify” the federal fleet, but in fiscal year 2021 agencies purchased fewer than 700 plug-in vehicles.

Globally, while there was a 40% increase in electric vehicle sales from 2019 to 2020, the pandemic and supply chain disruptions challenged this transition. Electric vehicles represent 1% of the global car fleet.

The Utah Legislature recently approved $3 million in spending to bolster the state’s rural electric vehicle charging network, and Utah is part of a seven-state network seeking to electrify interstate corridors on a regional basis.

An electric vehicle charges at a charging station in the Salt Lake City Capitol on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Washington wants to phase out gas-powered cars by 2030

Some Democratic-led western states are moving toward accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, with Washington state the latest to get on board.

As part of a nearly $17 billion transportation package, Washington recently enacted go ahead washingtonwhich sets the goal that no new gas-powered passenger vehicles and light trucks will be sold in the state by 2030 and beyond.

“We want to be ready for 100% (electric vehicle sales) by 2030, that’s the goal,” said Matthew Metz, founder and co-executive director of Coltura, a nonprofit that has pushed the initiative as part of its platform to accelerate the switch from petrol and diesel to cleaner alternatives.

Metz said there’s nothing in the Move Ahead Washington package that rules out owning a gas-powered vehicle in say 2029, noting that there could be those types of vehicles on the road until 2050.

“My preference is to do this faster.”

As gas prices have risen more than 50% in just one year, Metz said adopting electric vehicles will become a new consideration for some consumers.

“By 2025-2026, it will also be cheaper to buy an electric vehicle than a gasoline-powered car due to fewer moving parts,” he said, pointing out that electric vehicles have about 20 parts. mobile compared to gas-powered cars with 2,000 moving parts.

The goal, he added, is to have a full mandate in effect by 2035, similar to what California plans to do — despite the potential for litigation or action by a different administration in a post-Biden era.

An impetus behind the Move Ahead Washington package is for the state to accelerate an orderly transition by building network capacity and transmission infrastructure where needed and ensuring a robust electric vehicle charging network.

“We have to do it in advance rather than when there’s a crisis and we have to catch up,” Metz said. “We need to take control of our future rather than leaving the clumsy government behind.”

Such an energy mandate wouldn’t fly in GOP-controlled Utah, but one lawmaker said innovation and a free market would move the state in that direction.

“I’m very supportive of reducing emissions, but very supportive of doing it without a mandate,” said Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton and co-chair of the Utah Clean Air Caucus.

Handy has done extensive legislative work in the area of ​​clean energy and has also worked as a consultant in the area of ​​renewable energy.

“The free market, innovation, and technology are great for fulfilling wants and needs if government strays,” Handy said. “I think the free market will make that possible.”