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Go Electric

Transition to electric vehicles would save New Jersey lives, avoid economic impacts, report finds.

Recently the American Lung Association released “The Road to Clean Air” – a new report that outlines the broad benefits of a transition to an electric transportation sector increasingly powered by clean, non-combustion renewable energy over the coming decades. The report finds a transition to electric cars, buses and trucks by mid-century would both improve air quality and address climate change, benefiting the lives and health of Americans and New Jersey residents, and would result in significant local benefits.

“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Kevin Stewart, director, environmental health, American Lung Association. “We have the technology to transition to cleaner cars, trucks and buses, and by taking that step we can prepare New Jersey for the future while also seeing the health and economic benefits forecasted in ‘The Road to Clean Air.’ Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme heat and severe storms, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”

“The Road to Clean Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to an electric transportation sector over the coming decades. National benefits per year based on emission reductions in 2050 include avoiding approximately 6,300 premature deaths, preventing more than 93,000 asthma attacks and 416,000 lost workdays, $113 billion in global climate impacts avoided, and $72 billion in public health benefits gained.

Benefits in New Jersey per year based on emission reductions in 2050:

• Avoiding about 169 premature deaths

• Preventing more than 2,306 asthma attacks and 10,725 lost workdays per year

• $1,938,971,167 in public health benefits

Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation pollution contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes and premature deaths. As shown in the Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, nearly half of all Americans are living with unhealthy air quality, and low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by bad air quality. In New Jersey many counties received failing or below average grades for ozone smog in the “State of the Air” report.

Achieving these major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership and investment at all levels of government and will require public education and engagement to ensure the transition to electric vehicles provides clean air for all. The Lung Association is encouraging all New Jersey residents to sign a petition to Governor Phil Murphy urging support for the critical transition to electric vehicles across the United States.

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