Climate Change And State Transportation Policy
A report released today by Smart Growth America and the Natural Resources Defense Council says transportation policies in every state could save money and reduce carbon emissions by making smarter decisions with state funds.
“Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy” reports that current transportation policies in almost all 50 states either fail to curb carbon emission rates or, in some cases, actually increase emissions. This contradiction between state policies and broader efforts to reduce carbon emissions means not only that many states are missing opportunities to protect clean air; it means they are missing economic opportunities as well.
According to the findings in the new report, fewer than half of states have complete streets laws or policies in place, and only 15 states provide incentives for clean transportation commuting. Fifteen states have implemented smart growth policies or policies that curb sprawl, but only seven incentivize transit-oriented development. If more states adopted such policies, they could not only reduce emission rates but attract more businesses and create more jobs, too.
Transportation is the country’s second-largest and second-fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions (after electricity generation), yet transportation policies in most states fail to acknowledge this. Smarter transportation policy could save money, create jobs and help rebuild the economy while also curbing emissions, according to the report.