America’s transportation system has emerged as Climate Enemy #1, with cars, trucks and other vehicles now representing the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, and America producing more transportation carbon pollution per capita than any other major industrialized nation.
Increasingly, leaders in the United States and around the world are taking action to protect our climate from global warming. With 2016 likely to be the hottest year in human history, the need for further action is only growing more apparent, and more urgent.
Fortunately, leading states continue to prove that curbing dangerous carbon pollution can reduce the risk of global warming and benefit local communities at the same time. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have dramatically reduced dangerous power plant pollution, using tools including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a policy that limits pollution over time and makes polluters pay for the privilege of using the sky for waste disposal. Much of the revenue is then invested in clean energy programs, which have boosted the regional economy by nearly $3 billion.
Increasingly, leaders in the United States and around the world are taking action to protect our climate from global warming. With 2016 likely to be the hottest year in human history, the need for further action is only growing more apparent, and more urgent. The success of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative over the last decade shows that we can do more. To speed our progress toward a clean energy future, participating states should double its pollution reduction goal through 2030.
Massachusetts communities are leading the way towards 100 percent renewable energy. Cities and towns large and small, in all parts of the Commonwealth, are setting ambitious goals for reducing their energy usage and promoting clean energy.
America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation.
Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.