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Biden's Vision for a Greener Transport Sector

Four federal agencies have unveiled a “national blueprint for transportation decarbonization,” a collaboration they describe as the first of its kind for the federal government. The quartet comprises Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, and their roadmap envisions a low-emissions mobility system that is “clean, safe, secure, accessible, affordable, and equitable.”

The White House, Washington DC

The agencies' blueprint gives three primary strategies for decarbonizing transportation, the largest source of US climate pollution.

The most straightforward and most obvious - and the one that’s expected to cut greenhouse gases the most - involves replacing fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives. For the most part, this means trains, planes and automobiles being powered by batteries or green hydrogen.

The two other strategies are more crosscutting: “increasing convenience” and “improving efficiency.” Putting schools, workplaces, and businesses closer to people’s homes could cut down on traffic, simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions and boosting quality of life. Improving efficiency involves fewer single-occupant vehicles and more people in trains and buses, which can shuttle more people around while using less space and energy.

Whilst the roadmap doesn’t yet represent a commitment from the federal government to clean up transportation, a senior policy adviser for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a blog post that it’s a promising “starting gun” - a vision that can become reality with concrete plans from each of the four federal agencies, as well as coordinated action from states and companies.



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