Improving air quality and public health

Transportation in Washington contributes to harmful emissions including greenhouse gases, fine particles, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants. Greenhouse gases are a leading contributor to climate change, while toxic emissions can harm your health, leading to coughing, throat and chest irritation, difficulty breathing, and even lung damage.

Investing in cleaner transportation

Statewide policies like the Green Transportation Act and the Clean Car Standards Act are moving Washington toward zero-emission transportation. Combined with renewable energy sources, electrification and hydrogen fuel cell technology are drastically reducing harmful emissions from transportation. We are investing VW settlement and penalty funds in programs that will support these policies, and encourage faster and more widespread adoption of zero-emission transportation. As of March 2020, we have invested $91 million in projects to reduce toxics emissions and greenhouse gas emissions across Washington.

Sources of Washington greenhouse gases in 2019

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions

Projects funded by the combined Volkswagen settlements as of autumn 2020 will reduce an estimated 275,780 lifetime tons of CO2. Emissions reductions from these projects alone are equivalent to:

icons of a house, car, leaf, lightbulb

GHG emissions from 40,795 homes’ energy use for one year.

CO2 emissions from 75,060 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

Carbon sequestered by 5,845,759 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

GHG emissions avoided by 13,430,611 incandescent lamps switched to LEDs.