200 Lawyers 15 Offices 620 Cases

Earthjustice goes to court for our planet.
We’re here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

These Four States Just Got a Lot Closer to a Zero-Emissions Future

This page was published a year ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

In major victories for the climate and public health, three states have announced plans to ditch fossil fuels in transportation and buildings to shift to an all-electric, zero-emissions future.

States are a critical venue in the fight against climate change, and state policies can help pave the way for national action. That’s why we’re pushing for climate progress and clean energy standards in statehouses across the country through our Right to Zero campaign.

In the past few weeks, we and our advocacy partners have celebrated big wins in California, Colorado, Maryland, and New York that moved the states closer to clean air and 100% clean energy.

State wins that we’re celebrating.

Why state-level policies matter.

  • Earthjustice has been fighting for these protective state-level policies by building coalitions and replicating successes in more and more states under the Right To Zero campaign.
  • States like California, the world’s fourth-largest economy, send strong market signals when they adopt tighter environmental regulations, which begins to shift industries to zero emission models.
  • California also has permission under the Clean Air Act to pass stricter protections than the federal government’s standards. Other states can then opt into California’s standards. The clean trucks rule Maryland and Colorado just adopted was initially shaped and passed in California in 2020.
  • States like New York have passed binding climate targets, which has proven a powerful incentive for lawmakers to move on legislation.

What’s next?

  • We are now fighting for the NY HEAT Act, which would phase out new gas-line subsidies in New York — a stale, outdated practice by which utilities subsidize the cost of expanding the gas system by charging existing customers.
  • As we did with California’s ACT rule, we will now also look to push other states to adopt California’s new 100% zero-emission truck and locomotive rules.
Empire State building and Manhattan skyline, New York City, USA (Matteo Colombo / Getty Images)
Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline, New York City. (Matteo Colombo / Getty Images)