Major policy developments accelerate global shift to EV’s

In a significant stride towards combatting climate change, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has released an update to its pivotal 2022 study on the transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The report outlines the progress made and the path forward for the global automotive industry to curb carbon emissions and keep global warming well below 2°C.
The report, aimed at informing the actions of governments worldwide, particularly those associated with the Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council (ZEVTC), delves into the impacts of various ZEV policy pathways. It emphasizes that achieving a 100% transition to ZEVs for new light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles by 2035 and 2040, respectively, could put the automotive sector on a trajectory consistent with the 2°C climate goal. However, it underscores that there’s a significant gap between current ambitions and the stringent measures needed to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Key findings of the report include:

  1. Policy Developments: The ICCT has tracked policy changes from August 2021 to March 2023. These developments, primarily centered on the United States and the European Union, have led to a cumulative reduction of approximately 17 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions between 2023 and 2050.
  2. International Commitments: Governments have the potential to avoid an additional 11 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions if they follow through on their international commitments. These commitments include the Accelerating to Zero Coalition’s ZEV Declaration and the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles.
  3. Global Emission Trajectory: While the report acknowledges that current policies alone point to increasing global vehicle CO2 emissions through 2050, the adoption of proposed policies and EV targets could help emissions peak by 2030 and stabilize at current levels.
  4. Reduced Ambition Gap: Although the gap between current ambitions and a 2°C-compatible pathway still exists, the report shows a 34% reduction in this gap. Countries such as Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States are poised to meet over half of their mitigation potential by following through on their proposed policy actions.
  5. Need for Broader Actions: Achieving a complete global transition to ZEVs, even under the most ambitious scenario, would still require further actions to limit warming to 1.7°C or 1.5°C. Approximately 62 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions must be avoided by 2050 for 1.7°C, and a much greater 123 gigatonnes for 1.5°C. These additional actions may involve policies for passenger and freight travel, enhancing vehicle fuel efficiency, and accelerating the removal of older vehicles from the fleet.

The ICCT’s report highlights the progress made in transitioning to zero-emission vehicles and points to the collective efforts needed to achieve even more ambitious climate goals. As policymakers and the automotive industry work together to address climate change, the report serves as a valuable roadmap to drive the world towards a sustainable and environmentally responsible future.

Source: update on the global zero-emission vehicle transition in 2023 | the ICCT

Source: update on the global zero-emission vehicle transition in 2023 | the ICCT
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