Transportation accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. California and China are well-positioned to collaborate and lead a global transition to zero-emission transportation, a highly polluting sector that affects both climate change and air quality. In China, the sector accounts for 65% emissions in major cities such as Shenzhen. In California, the sector accounts for 50% of emissions when factoring in gasoline and diesel fuel production. California and China also experience shared air quality challenges from transportation pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM) 2.5 from diesel heavy-duty vehicles and ozone from light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Our research focuses on how to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and opportunities for decarbonizing the transportation sector, including heavy-duty vehicles and opportunities for electrification. In addition to policy research, we host stakeholder dialogues and roundtables on advancing low-carbon transportation policy with international stakeholders.
In a recently released policy paper, the California-China Climate Institute provides recommendations for how to accelerate deployment and adoption of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) in California, China -- and the rest of the world. The paper points to the longstanding history of cooperation between China and California as the foundation for further coordinated ZEV policy, research and investment opportunities. Researchers also detail existing emissions from the transportation sector in China and California, as well as current policies and incentives to deploy ZEVs, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the paper identifies gaps in the existing policy landscape as well as areas for potential alignment. The report was authored by Fan Dai, Aimee Barnes, Ethan Elkind, Fredrich Kahrl and Angela Luh.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the globe, now is the time for us to reflect not only on our shared vulnerability, but also on what's possible through collective action California and China, which have both confronted this virus with great force, are also uniquely positioned to tackle the climate crisis head-on – together. One of the most effective steps we can take is to get more zero-emission vehicles on our roads.