Transportation

Transportation: The Largest Source of Emissions

The transportation sector is the largest source of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and a significant source of air pollution in environmental justice communities. The country needs to make different transportation infrastructure choices than it has made in the past and do so at an enormous scale. Each part of the transportation sector faces different obstacles to a cleaner path. For passenger vehicles, the sheer size of the fleet and their central role in daily life makes rapid turnover a significant challenge. Technology options like electrification may not be available anytime soon for modes like shipping and aviation, where low- and zero-carbon alternatives fuels may offer the most promise.

 
Our Plan To Build A Cleaner And More Resilient Transportation Sector

Congress needs to take a multi-pronged, tailored approach to the transportation sector to drive down emissions and increase the sector’s resilience in the face of worsening climate impacts. Improving a vehicle’s efficiency, for example, will not be enough if that vehicle travels farther each year.

 

Expedite deployment of zero-emission vehicles in the sectors where they are already available while making new gasoline-powered vehicles as clean as possible.

Grow the U.S. domestic supply chain and manufacturing base for zero-emission vehicles as a key strategy to retain and create good-paying jobs.

Support the development of low-carbon liquid fuels for passenger vehicles and other transportation modes, such as aviation, shipping, and long-haul trucking.

Invest in RDD&D to develop new zero-emission technologies for the harder-to-decarbonize parts of the transportation sector.

Provide all Americans with lower-carbon, convenient, and affordable transportation options, including a massive expansion of public transit.

Support states and localities in their efforts to adopt transit-oriented, smart growth strategies and make housing, businesses, and critical services more accessible.

Reduce pollution from heavy-duty trucks, transit buses, and school buses by replacing dirtier vehicles with cleaner options and prioritizing near-port and environmental justice communities.

Cut pollution from the aviation and shipping sectors by developing low-carbon alternative fuels and new propulsion technologies.

Expand, maintain, and modernize the nation’s rail network to provide Americans more options for long-distance travel.

Adapt, operate, and strengthen the nation’s transportation systems to be more resilient to climate impacts.