Energy & Environment

Hochul signs law requiring zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will require all passenger vehicles sold in the state to be emission-free by 2035.

The law will make New York the second state after California to phase out greenhouse gas emissions in cars and light trucks. It also aims to eliminate emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045, and requires the creation of a detailed plan for zero-emissions vehicle development by 2023.

Separately, Hochul signed an order instructing the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to develop a regulation cutting the pollution emitted by trucks. While Hochul’s office did not release details of the proposed regulation, it projected it would “accelerate” sales of zero-emission trucks.

“New York is implementing the nation’s most aggressive plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting our climate and to reach our ambitious goals, we must reduce emissions from the transportation sector, currently the largest source of the state’s climate pollution,” Hochul said in a statement Wednesday. “The new law and regulation mark a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles, while helping to reduce emissions in communities that have been overburdened by pollution from cars and trucks for decades.”

“When adopted, this new regulation will require an increasing percentage of all new trucks sold in New York to be zero-emissions vehicles beginning with the 2025 model year, cementing our state as a national leader on actions to address climate change while spurring economic opportunities and helping to reduce air pollution,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

The Biden administration has announced a goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050. While much of that goal would require congressional cooperation, Hochul’s signature means two of the nation’s most populous states are working toward the same end.

The signature and order also come as the consequences of climate change have hammered the New York City area.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida led to New York City’s first-ever flash flood emergency declaration last week, while parts of New Jersey saw a similarly unprecedented tornado.  

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