Transportation and Climate Initiative ‘Listening Session’ Calls On States To Lower Carbon Emissions

On July 24th, RPA and the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance (which is facilitated by the Rutgers Climate Institute and the Rutgers Bloustein School) partnered with the Transportation and Climate Initiative to host a regional listening session focused on strategies for reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The session, held at NYU’s Kimmel Center, brought together a broad spectrum of over 150 of the region’s business, civic, community and governmental leaders to share ideas about the opportunities, changes and investments needed to help states reach a lower carbon transportation future.

In our region, transportation accounts for around half of carbon emissions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, yet these emissions are not regulated like those from our power plants, which are managed as part of RGGI. That is why the 4th Plan called for the regulation of greenhouse gases from all economic sectors, including transportation.   

Through a series facilitated sessions, participants worked together to answer a range of questions that asked them to envision a low-carbon transportation future and to identify goals, policies and actions to get there. Some ideas that emerged from the session included: a “cap-and-invest” approach that puts a price on transportation emissions and invests revenue back into communities and transportation infrastructure; congestion pricing; instituting zones for different classes of vehicles; and greening school bus fleets, among others. TCI staff gathered all ideas generated and will take them back to the relevant government agencies and executives for consideration.

RPA will continue to advance it’s vision for a cleaner transportation future by focusing on better city and region-wide public transit, congestion pricing, an expanded greenhouse gas market and the proliferation of electric vehicles region-wide.    

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