Missoula, MT – The transportation sector is the second largest source of global warming pollution in Montana. But a new report from Environment Montana Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group describes how Montana can build a zero-carbon transportation future - all while cleaning our air and creating safer, healthier communities.
Entitled Destination: Zero Carbon: Three strategies to transform transportation in America, the report looks at the factors underlying high transportation emissions, and proposes new policy solutions. Americans drive more than 10,000 miles a year on average, often in inefficient gas-burning vehicles. Poor public transit and unsafe conditions for walking or biking leave many Americans with few good low-carbon transportation options.
“Montana’s transportation system is due for a zero-carbon upgrade,” said Skye Borden, state director with Environment Montana Research & Policy Center. “With clean, electric cars and buses, and safe streets for walking and biking, we can take a big bite out of America’s contribution to global warming. This report shows how it can be done.”
The report outlines three goals that are achievable with proven policies and existing technology. These objectives can help eliminate emissions from cars and light trucks and contribute to America’s transition to a zero-carbon transportation future. They are:
- All new light-duty cars and trucks sold after 2035 should be electric vehicles (EVs).
- U.S. transit agencies and school districts should replace all transit and school buses with clean electric buses by 2030.
- The U.S. should at least double the number of people who travel by foot, bike or transit by 2030.
"Global warming demands that we set ambitious goals to get off fossil fuels - including ones for our cars and trucks," said Gideon Weissman, Policy Analyst with Frontier Group and co-author of the report. "Luckily, we now have the technology and the tools to meet those goals - from advanced zero-emission electric vehicles to proven policies that can help Americans drive less and live more."
Along with policy recommendations, the report also highlights state and local governments around the country already taking actions to create a more sustainable transportation system.
Here in Montana, the Department of Environmental Quality has received $12.6 million from the Volkwagen settlement funds to mitigate nitrogen oxide emissions from mobile sources over the next ten years. The funds provide an unprecedented opportunity for communities to invest in zero-carbon upgrades, including electric fleet and bus purchases and additional electric vehicle charging stations.
“Montana should step up to the climate challenge and re-imagine transportation,” said Borden. “From Missoula to Miles City, we can envision a better, carbon-free way to get around. It is a future that we must achieve if we want to make our state a healthy and clean place for future generations.”
Environment Montana Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. ‘For more information, visit www.environmentmontanacenter.org.