Management & Operations

Report reveals policy options for CO2 reduction

Posted on June 4, 2003

Transportation sources in the U.S. account for nearly a third of our nation's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and are rising faster than in any other sector, according to a report released by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The report, "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Transportation," identifies a number of policies and technologies that can achieve GHG reductions of the necessary scale. "The U.S. is the owner of the world's largest transportation system, and reducing emissions from this system is critical to an effective GHG reduction strategy," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center. The U.S. transportation system emits more CO2 than any other nation's total economy, except that of China, and presently accounts for seven of 10 barrels of oil this nation consumes. According to the report, it will be possible to reduce carbon emissions by about 20% by 2015, and almost 50% by 2030, if the nation begins using existing technologies and makes necessary investments. Some report recommendations include:

  • Research and development, and mandatory policies are essential to pull technological improvements into the marketplace.
  • Fuel cells and hydrogen use can eliminate GHG emissions from the transportation sector, but the government must provide clear policy direction to drive massive private investment by the fuel and vehicle industries. The report concludes that a cost-effective portfolio of policy options to address transportation's GHG emissions exists, but the long lead time required to turn over an entire fleet of vehicles and the supporting infrastructure mean that policies must be implemented now to create the impetus for change. A complete copy of the report is available on the Pew Center's Website, www.pewclimate.org/projects
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