Colorado Switch to Zero-Emission Vehicles Would Save Lives, Generate $9.5 Billion in Public Health Benefits

New report details benefits of transition to zero-emission transportation and electricity for Coloradans

The American Lung Association’s “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, released today, reveals that a Colorado transition to vehicles powered by clean electricity generation would generate $9.5 billion in public health benefits and prevent 857 premature deaths, 31,200 asthma attacks and 151,000 lost workdays for Colorado residents.

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Nick Torres, director of advocacy at the Lung Association. “Thankfully, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in communities most impacted by harmful pollution today. Colorado’s leaders at every level of government must drive the transition from fossil fuels and combustion to clean, renewable electricity and zero-emission transportation. Coloradans expect our elected officials to implement equitable policies and invest in the transition to healthy air without delay. This is an urgent health issue particularly for our most vulnerable populations who disproportionately feel the burdens of air pollution from the transportation and combustion-fueled utility sectors.” 

“Especially as Colorado faces the very real impacts of climate change such as increasingly frequent days with poor air quality and devasting wildfires, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”

“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector over the coming decades. The report illustrates the potential health and climate benefits if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero-emission by 2040. The report projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion electricity replacing dirty fossil fuels by 2035.

The report found that nationally, a widespread transition to electric vehicles would generate more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits and $1.7 trillion in additional climate benefits by 2050. 

Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation and electricity generation contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and premature deaths. These are sources of health disparities in lower-income communities and communities of color, both in terms of exposure to harmful air and the associated health consequences. 

Achieving these major health and climate benefits will require dedicated and sustained leadership. Investment at all levels of government, and public education and engagement will ensure the transition to zero-emission vehicles provides clean air for everyone. The Lung Association is asking the public to sign its petition calling for more rapid transition to zero-emission vehicles and energy at Lung.org/EV.

For more information about "Zeroing in on Healthy Air,” visit Lung.org/EV

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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