North America Makes a Splash at COP28

December 19, 2023

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While December 12, 2023, marked the end of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference — COP28 — the agreement created and signed by the representatives from nearly 200 countries highlights the conference’s objective of reducing global emissions and highlighting the importance of environmental sustainability. Notably, North America played an active role in some landmark moments at the event, focusing on its efforts to accelerate the adoption of clean transportation technologies.

The U.S. announced a $53.6 million commitment to developing countries for sustainable solutions to decarbonize urban transportation. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan added momentum by co-developing the Global ZEV Transition Roadmap. The roadmap “articulates how governments and international partners will collectively grow and target catalytic change across the road transport sector.” Vice President Kamala Harris furthered American support with a $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund, an investment that will foster international collaboration for “low emission transport” via evidence-based methodologies.

Mexico stood out as well as a leading example of a nation committing to the transition of clean medium- and heavy-duty trucks. While the ZEV Transition noted a delayed uptake of electric trucks globally as of December 2023, Mexico has led the charge, purchasing 1,700 electric trucks and vans in 2022 alone. Mexico City is poised to accelerate this movement with the deployment of electric buses, helping to establish a “pipeline of over 6,000 e-buses” in major Latin American cities. Its efforts nationwide earned Mexico recognition as a winner of the 2023 Local Adaptation Champions Awards.

Canada announced significant policies aimed at reducing emissions and eliminating air pollution, as well. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced the nation’s draft methane regulations, which will “set a target of reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75% from 2012 levels by 2030.” The ministry followed the methane rules with the Regulatory Framework for an Oil and Gas Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap to “cap 2030 emissions at 35 to 38% below 2019 levels.” Both frameworks will bring a paradigm shift to a nation known for prodigious oil and gas production.

North America also displayed its united commitment to addressing climate change at COP28. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada signaled to capital markets, governments, and industry that the clean transportation movement is here to stay, with funding and incentives taking center stage. UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell proclaimed climate finance is the “great enabler of climate action.” COP28 celebrated multibillion-dollar announcements, but the U.S. had the benefit of touting its policies as transforming the energy and transportation sectors in real time. Indeed, America’s climate finance policies have restored its global credibility as a leader on climate per the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Biden Administration’s trillion-dollar Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is one such example of climate finance in action. The law ushered in groundbreaking opportunities, such as the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program to provide reliable, affordable, and accessible refueling points coast-to-coast. It was during COP28 that Ohio activated the first of 500,000 stations with federal dollars. The Inflation Reduction Act’s $300 billion dollars for climate funding has propelled and leveraged the domestic investment of $225 billion in clean energy projects during the past year.

COP28 offered the 190 participating countries an opportunity to acknowledge past and present action, while shaping the future of clean transportation globally. As a result, fleet managers can look forward to more incentives and favorable policies to help them transition to cleaner vehicles.

Could your fleet, firm, agency, or organization use support in navigating the incentives, regulations, and policies coming to your fleet due to these new policies?

GNA, a TRC Company, is North America’s leading clean transportation and energy consulting firm and our team is here to help. Reach out if you would like to strategize around environmental justice and clean transportation. Here’s to a season full of transformational clean transportation — and human — investment.