Accelerating Deep Decarbonization in the U.S. Transportation Sector

Zero Carbon Action Plan (2020)

26 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by Daniel Sperling

Daniel Sperling

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies

Lewis M. Fulton

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies

Vicki Arroyo

Georgetown Climate Center

Date Written: November 5, 2020

Abstract

The transportation sector includes light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles (trucks), off-road vehicles, buses, rail, shipping, and aviation. Reducing emissions in this sector is critical in order to achieve the pathways to zero carbon. Transportation emissions accounted for 37 percent of total CO₂ emissions from energy and industry in 2019. The principal strategy for decarbonizing transportation is electrification (including battery, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cells) of all light-duty vehicles, urban-based trucks and buses, rail, much of long-haul trucking, and some short-haul shipping and aviation. For long-haul aviation and long-haul ocean shipping, advanced low-carbon biofuels and synthetic liquids or gases produced with renewable energy are the leading energy contenders. The second strategy builds on initiatives to reduce vehicle use and miles traveled while enhancing accessibility to health, education, jobs, and other services for the mobility disadvantaged. This transition will require a variety of actions by federal, state, and local governments as spelled out in detail in the report that follows.

Keywords: transportation, climate change, environmental law, climate policy

Suggested Citation

Sperling, Daniel and Fulton, Lewis M. and Arroyo, Vicki, Accelerating Deep Decarbonization in the U.S. Transportation Sector (November 5, 2020). Zero Carbon Action Plan (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3725841

Daniel Sperling

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies ( email )

One Shields Ave
davis, CA 95616
United States

Lewis M. Fulton

University of California, Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies ( email )

One Shields Ave
davis, CA 95616
United States

Vicki Arroyo (Contact Author)

Georgetown Climate Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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