Coalition Letter Urges Action on Electrification of Vehicles as COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights the Dangers of Air Pollution
The Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle Coalition and its partners, which includes the Newton EV Task Force and League of Women Voters Massachusetts, recently sent the Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection a letter urging the following action by the State: “Set a goal and create an action plan for all vehicles to be electric by 2040. Commit to all electric transit and school bus fleets by 2035. Commit to complete electrification of state and municipal fleets by 2035. Establish goals and incentive programs for the conversion of private vehicle fleets.”
The COVID-19 pandemic makes the transition to cleaner electric vehicles even more urgent as, “People with COVID-19 who live in US Regions with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die from the disease than people who live in less polluted areas.” Middlesex County has the second highest level of air pollution particulate matter in Massachusetts, much of it concentrated along the Mass Pike and 128 (A Clean Transportation System for my Patients).
Transportation accounts for the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. Setting a goal and creating an action plan for electrification of vehicles is an important step toward achieving the State’s ambitious net zero emissions limit. It’s time for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to make good on the Governor’s Earth Day 2020 pledge for an aggressive, science-based, net-zero emissions limit.
Newton’s Climate Action Plan, officially adopted on November, 11, 2019, as a part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, includes the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Recently the City made a step towards this goal by converting the NewMo, senior transportation vehicles, to hybrid vehicles.
At the LWVUS Convention in June, the League of Women Voters of Araphoe and Douglas Counties proposed a resolution that calls for an immediate, wide-scale, mobilization by the United States that restores, protects, and funds an ecologically sustainable environment and climate, based on an interrelated approach that is environmentally sound, science-based, just and equitable, and dedicated to appropriately addressing the speed and scale of the global climate change emergency. This resolution was passed at the convention by an overwhelming majority, thereby reenforcing the LWVUS commitment to the environment.