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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Transportation is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States

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Abstract In the last 4 years, the transportation sector has overtaken the power sector as the major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and it is expected to continue to be the dominant sector for emissions into the future. In contrast to the power sector, transportation faces substantially more challenges to reducing GHG emissions. This article will examine those barriers and then review three major strategies to reduce emissions in this sector. They include: (a) substantially improve the fuel economy of the passenger light vehicle fleet; (b) advance the usage of emerging alternatively‐fueled light vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, while reducing their GHG emissions; and (c) invest in and modernize public transportation to increase its use substantially. This article is categorized under: Energy and Transport > Economics and Policy Energy and Climate > Climate and Environment Energy Policy and Planning > Climate and Environment
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by sectorSource: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Data Highlights from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990–2018, 430‐K‐20‐001
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Work commute transit share. Derived from American Community Survey (Census Bureau) 2017 Source: Cox, Wendell, “Distribution of Transit Work Trips: Urban Core Vs. Suburbs and Exurbs,” newgeography, 12/12/19, http://www.newgeography.com/content/006495‐distribution‐transit‐work‐trips‐urban‐core‐vs‐suburbs‐and‐suburbs
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Population share, U.S. major metropolitan areas. Derived from American Community Survey (Census Bureau) 2014/18 and the City Sector Models drawn from 2010 census data Source: Cox, Wendell, newgeography, “Population Growth Concentrated in Auto Oriented Suburbs and Metropolitan Areas,” 1/14/20, http://www.newgeography.com/content/006527‐population‐growth‐concentrated‐auto‐oriented‐suburbs‐and‐metropolitan‐areas
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Estimated CO2 emissions per passenger mile for autos and public transportation, 2010 (average and full occupancy). Trip to work to averages 1.14 passengers (including driver); general trip averages 1.63 passengers Source: Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, “Public Transportation's Role in Responding to Climate Change,” January 2010
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Fuel economy standards/targets by country, passenger cars (normalized to U.S. CAFE measurement)Source: The International Council on Clean Transportation
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U.S. per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT)Source: Davis, Jeff, ENO Center for Transportation, “Trends in Per Capita VMT,” June 7, 2019, https://www.enotrans.org/article/trends‐in‐per‐capita‐vmt/
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Sources of U.S. transportation greenhouse gas emissions, 2018Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fast Facts: U.S. Transportation Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1990–2018, EPA‐420‐F‐20‐037, June 2020
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Energy Policy and Planning > Climate and Environment
Energy and Climate > Climate and Environment
Energy and Transport > Economics and Policy

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