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COP26: Governments, Automakers Agree To Phase Out Production of Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2040

(Credit: UK COP26)

At the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, national and state governments and automakers committed Wednesday to have all new car and van sales be zero emissions vehicles by 2040 — and 2035 for leading markets.

Specific goals include:

  • A just transition, with developed countries providing assistance to developing countries.
  • Governments converting their vehicle fleets to zero emissions vehicles by 2035.
  • Business fleet owners converting their fleets to zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.
  • Investors encouraging relevant companies, whose stock they own, to decarbonize their vehicle fleets.
  • Financial institutions making capital available to help finance the transition.

To achieve these, signatories agreed to pursue the following tactics:

  • Strengthening policies that incentivize zero-emission vehicles.
  • Increasing research and development funding.
  • Bolstering manufacturing.
  • Greening supply chains.
  • Building out electric vehicle infrastructure, for example charging stations.
  • Supporting low-income countries.
  • Reducing vehicle costs by utilizing economies of scale.

Signatories comprise 33 countries, 40 cities, states, and regional governments, 11 automakers, 27 fleet owners and operators, 13 investors, two financial institutions, and 17 other entities. Notable participants include The U.K., Canada, California, New York, Ford, General Motors, and Uber. Notable absences include China and the U.S., whose car markets rank first and second respectively, and Volkswagen and Toyota, the world’s top two automakers.

Since Oct. 31, 2021, global leaders have been convening each day in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss climate change–related matters. Other topics included combating climate change misinformation and expanding renewable energy.

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