CA is not Serious about VMT Reduction
02/05/17 Filed in: Climate Change | Transportation Planning
TRANSDEF’s organizational focus is the reduction of GHG emissions from transportation. Much of our work has involved the state’s policy-setting agency for climate change, the California Air Resources Board, or ARB. ARB has produced generally excellent climate change plans, called Scoping Plans. However, it has consistently been weak in the area of reducing GHG emissions from transportation, despite determining that nearly half of the state’s GHG emissions are generated by the transportation sector. TRANSDEF suspects that high-level officials in state government are unwilling to take on the inevitable controversy that would accompany a serious effort to shift how Californians travel. Not only would this represent an unprecedented level of cultural change, it would require shifting transportation funding to exclusively low-carbon modes, which entrenched interest groups would resist.
ARB’s lack of courage in this sector is generally unrecognized, even within the climate advocacy community. TRANSDEF’s concern is that without significant reductions in transportation emissions, the state will not reach its goal of 2050 GHG emissions 80% below 1990 levels, the percentage reduction identified as needed to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2° C. TRANSDEF has a long history of advocacy in climate policy, which is detailed on the new page posted today.