Potentials for Sustainable Transportation in Cities to Alleviate Climate Change Impacts

Published in: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 46, no. 5, 2012, p. 2529-2537

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Yeganeh Mashayekh, Paulina Jaramillo, Constantine Samaras, Chris T. Hendrickson, Michael Blackhurst, Heather L. MacLean, H. Scott Matthews

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is an important social goal to mitigate climate change. A common mitigation paradigm is to consider strategy "wedges" that can be applied to different activities to achieve desired GHG reductions. In this policy analysis piece, we consider a wide range of possible strategies to reduce light-duty vehicle GHG emissions, including fuel and vehicle options, low carbon and renewable power, travel demand management and land use changes. We conclude that no one strategy will be sufficient to meet GHG emissions reduction goals to avoid climate change. However, many of these changes have positive combinatorial effects, so the best strategy is to pursue combinations of transportation GHG reduction strategies to meet reduction goals. Agencies need to broaden their agendas to incorporate such combination in their planning.

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