AN “ALL-IN” PATHWAY TO 2030:

Transportation Sector Emissions Reductions Potential

ABOUT THE REPORT

This new report from the America Is All In analytical team offers a deep-dive into emissions reductions potential from the United States transportation sector—and it finds that the transportation sector can deliver one-fifth of the emissions reductions needed to successfully reach the Biden Administration’s climate target of 50-52 percent reductions by 2030 from 2005 levels.

This reduction is significantly more progress than previous analyses had identified. With continued and accelerated efforts from cities, states, businesses, and the federal government, transport emissions could reduce by 34 percent, or over 600 million metric tons of CO2 (MtCO2), through the remainder of the decade.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Through an “All-In” climate strategy integrating legislative initiatives from Congress, regulatory and other actions from the Executive Branch, and enhanced policy leadership from non-federal actors, the United States can deliver its ambitious climate target (NDC) of 50-52% reductions by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.
  • Under this strategy, emissions reductions from the transportation sector—the country’s largest source of emissions—would contribute one-fifth of the economy-wide emissions reductions needed. Through the remainder of the decade, emissions from the transportation sector could feasibly decrease emissions by 34% by 2030—a more ambitious level than usually identified.
  • Currently adopted policy measures account for 19%—or nearly 350 million tons of CO2 (MtCO2)—of the emissions reductions needed. These measures include existing federal fuel economy and emissions standards, state and local policies and incentives, market force projections, and Congress’s recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
  • IIJA’s transportation decarbonization measures alone can reduce emissions by 12 MtCO2. Climate-aligned implementation of these policies can leverage wider deployment of charging infrastructure, renewed R&D into alternative fuels, and support the accelerated adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) as they become price competitive in the market.
  • States, cities, businesses, and others have already shown significant ability to drive down transportation reductions and can reduce emissions by an additional 5%—or 92 MtCO2—through policy opportunities including ZEV mandates, municipal fleet targets, improving mobility options, and reducing vehicle miles traveled.
  • Congressional action currently being considered could cut 55 MtCO2 of emissions through tax credits and other incentives. Cost-effective regulatory policies and other federal actions could cut an additional 120 MtCO2—combined, representing 10% or 175 MtCO2 in reductions.

MEET THE REPORT EXPERTS

  • LEAD AUTHOR: Alicia Zhao, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland 
  • Haewon McJeon, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Ryna Cui, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Tom Cyrs, World Resources Institute
  • John Feldmann, World Resources Institute
  • Gokul Iyer, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Kathleen Kennedy, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Kevin Kennedy, World Resources Institute
  • Shannon Kennedy, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Kowan O’Keefe, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland
  • Sujata Rajpurohit, World Resources Institute
  • Lainie Rowland, New York City Energy Efficiency
  • CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Nate Hultman, Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland