California elbows out Trump on emissions

California elbows out Trump on emissions

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California has scored a notable climate change success against the Trump White House. The state has concluded an agreement with four leading vehicle manufacturers that will see BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen go along with California’s auto emission standards.

The voluntary arrangement means that the automakers will up the average fuel efficiency of their vehicles to 50 miles per gallon by 2026. The motor brands point out that what they want above all is regulatory certainty so that they can manufacture a single US fleet and not be required to comply with various rules across different regions.

That’s a blow to the Trump administration which last year proposed revoking the state’s right to impose its own emissions standards, arguing that federal law should take precedence. The White House has been arguing for a mere 37 miles per gallon target.

In June, leading automakers wrote a letter to Trump and California governor Gavin Newsom urging them to get into emissions talks. The president declined, and the result is the new agreement with the Golden State.

Newsom seized the moment and called on the Trump administration to “abandon its regressive proposal and do what is right for our economy, our people, and our planet”.

Transport is the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the US.

By the way, California accounts for 12% of all US auto sales. And 12 other states have adopted California’s vehicle emissions rules.

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