Rafu Wire and Sfaff Reports

Toyota announced on Aug. 23 that it accepts California’s independent emission standards, ending a dispute that prompted the state government to suspend purchases of vehicles from the Japanese automaker.

The company said in a statement, “Toyota continues to share the vision of GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction and carbon neutrality goals with CARB (California Air Resources Board) and the state. In our recent communication, we acknowledged CARB’s leadership in climate policies and its authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.

“We are also excited about our efforts to extend zero-emissions activities beyond our core vehicle business with our ‘Clean Ports, Clean Corridors and Clean Communities’ initiative, and we’re eager to explore the state’s engagement with these efforts.”

CARB Chair Liane Randolph tweeted, “We’re pleased to see that @Toyota has now recognized CA’s authority to set vehicle standards under the #CleanAir Act. Although we’ve had differences in the past, we look forward to advancing #ZEVs (zero-emission vehicle) together on positive footing.”

In 2019, California introduced its own gas emission regulations that were stricter than the goals set by the Trump Administration. Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. agreed to the standards set by California. The administration moved to revoke the independent standards, leading California to file a lawsuit.

Toyota, General Motors Co. and other automakers backed the administration while calling for unified standards on the environmental issue. California Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended purchases of vehicles manufactured by those automakers.

Toyota withdrew its support for the Trump Administration action in February 2021 after President Joe Biden took office.

Newsom tweeted at the time, “Thank you @toyota, @FIATUSA, @Hyundai, and @subaru_usa for dropping your climate-denying, air-polluting, Trump-era lawsuit against CA. Good start. Now it’s time to join forward-looking carmakers in the CA framework to protect our air and planet.”

In related news, CARB on Aug. 25 approved a rule requiring 100 percent of new car sales in California to be ZEVs by 2035.

“We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution,” Newsom said in a statement. “California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.

“This plan’s yearly targets – 35 percent ZEV sales by 2026, 68 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035 – provide our roadmap to reducing dangerous carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels. That’s 915 million oil barrels’ worth of emissions that won’t pollute our communities.”

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