Tyler Chalfant | March 19th, 2020
The Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group released a report last month outlining goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the U.S.
The groups call transportation “climate enemy number one,” in the U.S., given that the transportation system produces more emissions than any other sector of the U.S. economy, and accounts for 4% of global emissions on its own. Nearly three-fifths of those emissions come from light-duty vehicles, such as cars, pickups, and SUVs.
Americans drive more than 3.2 trillion miles each year in vehicles that are bigger and less efficient than those of most other countries. Factors encouraging Americans to drive so much include:
- Direct and indirect subsidies on fuel and transportation
- A lack of access to public transit
- Infrastructure that is dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Land-use patterns including low density and single-use zoning that separate homes from workplaces
The report outlined three goals to reduce transportation emissions over the next 10-15 years:
- Phasing out fossil fuel-powered light-duty vehicle sales by 2035
- Electrifying transit and school buses by 2030
- Double the number of people who walk, bike and take transit by 2030
Communities around the country have already implemented local strategies and policies to make low-carbon transportation options safer, more convenient, and more affordable.