California has always been the most sensitive US state to environmental issues. This is where hybrid models like the Toyota Prius became popular and, according to Governor Gavin Newsom, it will also be one of the first places in the world to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles from 2035.
Environmental legislation is relatively easy in California, as the majority of the population favors reducing emissions for better air quality, even if it involves higher costs and taxes. In Europe, there are cities and countries with goals as good as these, but in the United States, it is rare for a state to reveal such a bet.
Yet, looking at Governor Newsom’s announcement, it’s odd that the ban on selling cars that burn oil-based fuels is limited to new vehicles. Lawmakers have even gone to the trouble of making it clear that used vehicles can keep changing hands, which has prompted many Newsom supporters to call for more aggressive rules.
On the other hand, it does not make sense for Californians to make an effort, for the good of the country and the planet, without being accompanied by other states and countries. On average, a Californian emits 9 tons of CO2 per year, well below the national average of 16 tons per capita / year, which places this Pacific state as the American leader in carbon emissions.