Biden officials lay out road map for net-zero transportation by 2050
The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a road map for bringing down emissions from the transportation sector to net-zero by 2050.
The new road map, from several federal agencies, has both shorter- and longer-term policies, including selling more electric vehicles, investing in rail and other public transportation and making walking and biking safer and more convenient options.
The blueprint also includes the use of several “levers” to help the transportation sector reach net-zero, including federal, state and local regulations, investment in infrastructure and new research and development.
President Biden has said he hopes that the entire country will become carbon neutral by 2050, which is expected to require significant emissions reductions. The transportation sector is the country’s biggest contributor to climate change, making up 27 percent of its planet-warming emissions in 2020.
“Transportation policy is inseparable from housing and energy policy, and transportation accounts for a major share of US greenhouse gas emissions, so we must work together in an integrated way to confront the climate crisis,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
“Every decision about transportation is also an opportunity to build a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future,” he added.
In addition to laying out the policies and other strategies needed to decarbonize the transportation sector, the report also sets rough recommended timelines for certain goals.
By 2030 it calls for investing in rail, public transit and transit infrastructure. On that time table, it also calls for setting “ambitious but achievable” targets for shares of vehicles that should be electric in addition to investing in innovation for new technologies for batteries and hydrogen power.
Between 2030 and 2040, it calls for pushing ahead on efforts like tightening vehicle efficiency standards.
In the 2040s, it calls for supporting “fleet turnover” to “fully replace legacy vehicles and petroleum infrastructure with clean zero-emission solutions.”
The road map outlines the Biden administration’s agenda though does not include a guarantee that the goals will be achieved, and a future Republican administration in particular would be unlikely to pursue many of the policies.