To Save the Climate: Driving Habits Must Change

Even with ambitious electric Vehicle adoption, the United States must reduce vehicle miles traveled by 20 percent before the end of the decade to limit warming to 1.5°C, according to new research by the Rocky Mountain Institute.

August 30, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By Todd Litman

How's My Driving

Mark Hillary / Flickr

Brian Yudkin,  Duncan Kay,  Jane Marsh, and  Jackson Tomchek writes for the Rocky Mountain Institute:

Beyond the climate consequences resulting from transportation emissions, this high baseline of driving has given rise to a range of societal ills in American cities. These include inequitable access to destinations, disconnected communities, and the nearly universal frustration of congestion. Our highway system has served to segregate populations, heightening long-standing injustices, while high costs of living and limited housing options continue to facilitate sprawl away from city centers.

RMI analysis indicates that the United States must reduce VMT by 20 percent before the end of the decade to limit warming to 1.5°C—and this remains true even under ambitious EV adoption scenarios.

The article continues to details some of the interventions that can reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), like pricing signals, ending highway expansions, and transportation demand management and provides an infographic to illustrate the effects of some of those interventions.

Friday, August 27, 2021 in Rocky Mountain Institute


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