Publication Detail

Achieving Reductions in Greenhouse Gases in the U.S. Road Transportation Sector

UCD-ITS-RP-14-10

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Suggested Citation:
Kay, Andrew, Robert B. Noland, Caroline J. Rodier (2014) Achieving Reductions in Greenhouse Gases in the U.S. Road Transportation Sector. Energy Policy 69, 536 - 545

It is well established that GHG emissions must be reduced 50 to 80% by 2050 in order to limit global temperature increase to 2°C. Achieving reductions of this magnitude in the transportation sector is a challenge and requires a multitude of policies and technology options. The research presented here analyzes three scenarios: changes in the perceived price of travel, land use intensification, and increases in transit. Elasticity estimates are derived using an activity-based travel model for the state of California and broadly representative of the U.S. The VISION model is used to forecast changes in technology and fuel options that are currently forecast to occur in the U.S. for the period 2000–2040, providing a life-cycle GHG forecast for the road transportation sector. Results suggest that aggressive policy action is required, especially pricing policies, but also more on the technology side, especially increases in the carbon efficiency of medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

Keywords: Transportation policy; Greenhouse gas emissions; Gay analysis; Activity-based model