The City of Phoenix is currently experiencing some of the worst air quality rates in the United States according to Joanna Strother, senior advocacy director of the American Lung Association. Due to high concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions, poor air quality negatively affects visibility and the respiratory health of Phoenix residents. Strothers stated, “The American Lung Association released a report in March called ‘Zeroing In On Healthy Air’. This found that increasing 0 emission transportation powered by a non combustion energy grid could yield 15.1 billion in public health benefits. That is just here in Arizona between now and 2050. We must act now on our climate crisis and clean up our most polluted sectors to protect the health of Arizonians.”
Over a year ago, Mayor Kate Gallego recognized this issue and launched the AD HOC Committee. Mayor Gallego stated, “I asked the group to find ways to inform and accelerate transitions towards EVs in Phoenix. I have to say (they have) exceeded my expectations.” Since its creation, this committee has come up with a roadmap consisting of a five-step plan to prepare for the projected 280,000 electric vehicles in Phoenix by 2030. By doing this they are growing a community of technology innovation within Arizona as a whole.
Collectively, City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari, Nikola staff, Joanna Strother, senior advocacy director of the American Lung Association, and Dr. Juan Medrano, superintendent of district operations at Cartwright Elementary, all band together to release the Transportation Electrification Action Plan within a press conference held at Nikola Headquarters on June 16th. On display were new electric vehicles by Nikola, Waymo and Lectric eBikes to showcase the future of sustainability and public health within our communities.
By acting now, The City of Phoenix is able to take admirable strides toward helping its citizens. Council Women Yassamin Ansari, a member of the AD HOC Committee, stated at the event, “As a former United Nations climate advisor, who in a previous life, worked with cities, states and companies on their climate commitments and policies, I am so proud to take on this work with the City of Phoenix. Data shows us that transportation and primarily gas-powered vehicles are the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants in the City of Phoenix. So electrifying our transportation sector is one of the most significant actions we can take for our climate and public health.” Taking accountability for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that have polluted Phoenix is the only way to continue within our current environment.
As a whole, The City of Phoenix and its residents are very excited to take steps forward with the EV Transportation Electrification plan. This plan is for the health of Phoenix and its residents as a whole, hoping to set an example for other cities on the seriousness of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants that are emitted into the air. The City of Phoenix must and will continue to act on this climate crisis that has polluted most of the sectors within our area for the health and safety of not just us but those who will be dealing with these types of issues 50-100 years from now.