Quinton Zondervan is City Councillor in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He passed the bill that requires warning labels on all fuel pumps in the city. These labels will alert motorists of the climate and health risks associated with burning fossil fuels.
On January 27th 2020, the City Council in Cambridge, MA, decided to put climate and health warning labels on all fuel pumps in the city, resembling the warning labels found on cigarette packages. Cambridge will be the first place in the world with such warning labels.
The Swedish Green Motorists celebrate this decision, and asked Quinton a few questions about the inititative.
What’s happening next? When do you think the warning labels are ready to be displayed on your fuel pumps?
Next steps are for the city administration to design the labels and text. My hope is that they will be ready in a few months.
What is the main significance of this decision?
The main significance is that it is an opportunity to raise awareness about the climate crisis with consumers, in the hope that it will motivate them to action. Even if someone can’t give up driving a car, or switching to an electric vehicle, there are other ways they can take action, starting with something as simple as voting.
What are the prospects that more US cities adopt similar legislation?
I think there are a few other progressive cities in Massachusetts and across the country that will be interested in this, especially once they can simply copy what we are doing here.
What are the prospects that similar legislation is adopted at the state or federal level?
I think that’s further away, although with the right governor we could see it happen in Massachusetts or elsewhere. As more cities and towns do it that also increases the probably that states will take action. At the federal level we need a very different president before we would see something like this.
Interview by Per Östborn