California’s Petaluma becomes first US city to ban new gas stations
This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.
Petaluma in California has become the first US city to ban the construction of new petrol stations and pumps as part of its plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
The City Council unanimously approved a bill to continue an existing two-year moratorium indefinitely.
The city’s 16 existing petrol stations will be allowed to continue to operate, and the bill will make it easier for stations to add electric vehicle charging points and other alternative fuel stations on their premises.
“This is a massive step forward in the fight to protect communities and the climate from fossil fuels,” environmental nonprofit Stand.earth, which supported the campaign for the bill, said on Twitter.
Last September California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state would ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035.
Newsom emphasized that the measure is not only aimed at improving the environment and addressing climate change, but will also reboot US auto manufacturing.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change – for too many decades we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe,” said Newsom.
“Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Several other Californian cities have stepped up their climate initiatives over the past year, including Santa Monica, which last month announced the creation of a one-mile zero-emissions delivery zone – supporting the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s (LACI) Transportation Electrification Partnership goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution by an additional 25% by 2028.
The delivery zone will provide priority access to zero-emissions delivery vehicles, including electric vans, e-cargo scooters, and remote-controlled small delivery bots, within certain loading zones.
In December, Cambridge, Massachusetts became the first US city to mandate the placing of stickers on fuel pumps, warning drivers that: “Burning Gasoline, Diesel and Ethanol has major consequences on human health and on the environment including contributing to climate change.”
The city wants to reduce emissions by 80% and offset the remainder by 2050, to keep in line with its carbon-neutral goals.
Transportation makes up 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, primarily from burning fossil fuel for cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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Published March 8, 2021 — 15:00 UTC