Investors and companies applaud Colorado’s newest governor for taking quick action to advance electric transportationCeres
Investors and companies applauded Colorado’s newly-sworn in Gov. Jared Polis for taking action during his first days in office to accelerate the state’s transition to a clean transportation system. The move will strengthen Colorado’s economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect public health.
Today, Gov. Polis issued his first executive order directing the state’s Air Quality Control Commission to consider adopting standards that would accelerate the deployment of clean vehicles in the state. The standards, known as the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, would require about seven percent of new vehicle sales be zero emission or plug-in electric vehicles by 2025.
The ZEV program would bring $7.6 billion in benefits to the state by 2050 in the form of lower electricity bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. To date, 14 states have adopted clean car standards, which is especially important in light of the proposed rollback of the federal fuel efficiency and emissions standards.
As a candidate, Gov. Polis promised to accelerate the state’s transition to a low-carbon economy. His move today is in line with that promise, and with other major investors and companies that recognize that increasing the deployment of electric vehicles is necessary to meeting the state’s ambitious climate goals.
“As a Colorado resident and global investor, I recognize the significant economic opportunity that electric vehicles could bring to the Centennial State,” said Julie Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing at Impax Asset Management LLC and Pax World Funds. “The industry for electric vehicles is rapidly growing. Forward-looking policies like the ZEV program provide companies and investors with much needed policy certainty, helping to attract new investments and generate more homegrown jobs.”
Influential companies, including Alpine Start Foods, Black Tie Ski Rentals, Burton Snowboards, Clif Bar & Company, Colorado Ski Country USA, Fishpond, New Belgium Brewing, and Smartwool voiced their support for Colorado’s adoption of clean car standards, citing the economic imperative of tackling climate change and reducing emissions.
“Transportation is a critical issue for both the brewing industry and the state, impacting our economy, our environment, and quality of life for Coloradans,” said Steve Fechheimer, CEO of New Belgium Brewing. “We have seen firsthand how investments in electric vehicles help our company reduce emissions and save money, thanks to the reduced fuel and maintenance costs. We applaud Gov. Polis for advancing clean car standards in our state and look forward to assisting in the transition toward a clean and efficient transportation sector.”
The executive order also calls for an inter-departmental workgroup to develop and implement policies and programs supporting a rapid transition to electric vehicles. In addition, the governor issued a directive to the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop an electric vehicle policy that will support Colorado’s transportation, electrification, and clean air and climate goals.
“We applaud Gov. Polis for his swift leadership and commitment to reduce transportation emissions in Colorado,” said Anne Kelly, Senior Director of Policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres, a sustainability advocacy nonprofit mobilizing investors and companies on clean energy and clean transportation policies. “Colorado businesses recognize that increasing the number of electric vehicles available in the state and transitioning their fleets to cleaner, more efficient vehicles will benefit their bottom line. This executive order will ensure Colorado remains competitive as the world moves toward widespread deployment of clean vehicles.”
“Colorado’s outdoor industry employs over 220,000 people and generates $28 billion for the state’s economy,” said Lindsay Bourgoine, Director of Policy & Advocacy at Protect Our Winters, an organization working to make action on climate change a top priority for the outdoor sports community, who helped to coordinate the letter. “Increasing the quantity of clean vehicles in Colorado will reduce transportation emissions and move us towards a more stable climate, which is critical for the industry’s success. We look forward to seeing the state work hand in hand with the outdoor industry and the rest of the state’s business community to implement the executive order.”
“At Fishpond, we are proud to be a part of Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy, a crucial part of what makes Colorado a special place to live and visit,” said Johnny Land Le Coq, Founder and CEO at Fishpond. “We support the governor’s action today because we know that increasing electric transportation options is an important step to sustain the long-term success of our industry and to protect the state’s fish habitat and species diversity.”
In 2018, Colorado formally adopted the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard, which limits greenhouse gas emissions and smog-forming pollutant emissions from light-duty vehicles. The Air Quality Control Commission will make a decision on the ZEV program later this year.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
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