The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has released a draft rule to adopt standards that will “require vehicle manufacturers to deliver vehicles to the Minnesota market that produce lower emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.” These clean car standards will reduce carbon emissions, improving air quality and health, and provide more clean car options in Minnesota.
Transportation is the largest source of climate change-causing pollution in Minnesota. Nearly 60% of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and light trucks. Enacting stricter auto emissions standards is a critical step forward for Minnesota’s efforts to reduce dangerous climate pollution. Minnesota’s goal is to have 20% of passenger vehicles be electric by 2030, and clean car standards will help us get there.
On-road vehicles are responsible for 24% of harmful air pollution in Minnesota, including health-damaging substances such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and ground-level ozone. Exposure to air pollution is linked to many adverse health outcomes, including heart disease, cancer, hypertension, asthma, decreased lung function, stroke, kidney disease, and reduced birth weight for children born to women exposed to air pollution during pregnancy. Reducing vehicle-related air pollution will protect the health of Minnesotans in both rural and urban areas.
Communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income families bear disproportionate impacts from air pollution and climate change. These communities have the highest exposure to on-road vehicle pollution because they live in high traffic areas. Minnesota counties with larger populations of seniors and people without health insurance or living in poverty experience the highest rates of health-related impacts from air pollution. Clean car standards are a crucial part of a multi-faceted strategy to ensure that Minnesotans of all races and backgrounds are included in an equitable transition to a sustainable, carbon-free economy.
watch to learn how air pollution impacts health