B.C. signs zero-emission vehicle pledge at Paris climate talks

British Columbia has joined a global team aiming to fill highways and city streets with zero-emission vehicles over the next 35 years.

If embraced worldwide, move could cut global emissions by 40 per cent

The government of B.C. has signed a pledge that by 2050 all new vehicles on the province's roads will be zero-emissions models. (Getty Images)

British Columbia has joined a global team aiming to fill highways and city streets with zero-emission vehicles over the next 35 years.

Environment Minister Mary Polak signed an agreement in Paris at United Nations climate talks, making B.C. the 14th member of the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance.

B.C. joins Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, along with California and seven other U.S. states in pledging to ensure all new vehicles are zero-emissions models by 2050, a move that could cut global vehicle emission rates by 40 per cent.

Quebec also signed the pledge.

B.C.'s Energy Minister Bill Bennett says less than 2,000 electric vehicles are currently on the roads in the province, but he expects that number to increase as more charging stations are installed in cities and along highways.

He says B.C. already has the largest public-charging network in Canada for electric vehicles, but more can be done.

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