Greenhouse Gas (GHS) and the Energy Mitigation for the Transportation Sector: Recommended Research and Evaluation Program

This paper was prepared at the request of the Transportation Research Board, to recommend a program of research and evaluation on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption for surface transportation and aviation. Climate change scientists are recommending 60-80% reductions in GHG by 2050, compared to 1990 levels, with significant near-term reductions as well. Achieving this level of reduction will require major changes in many aspects of transportation in the United States and throughout the world. The paper concentrates on research to assist in reducing GHG reductions, as opposed to research focused on reducing energy consumption, because GHG reductions are “the long pole in the tent,” – i.e., achieving the recommended targets for GHG reductions is highly likely to reduce U.S. petroleum consumption and dependence on foreign oil to desired levels. While there is a large and growing amount of research on GHG reduction strategies for transportation, it does not address many issues (especially for operational strategies and strategies to reduce GHG associated with construction, maintenance, and agency operations), it is hampered by lack of empirical information, it reflects dramatically different views and judgments, and the quality is uneven. To overcome the current research limitations, and to help attain major GHG reductions, this paper recommends a major research program, of 31 research elements, organized in five categories: Foundational Research; Policy Research on GHG Strategies; Practitioner-Oriented Research; Data, Models, and Other Tools; and Advanced Research Program for Universities and Others.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was prepared for the Transportation Research Board to assist in the production of Transportation Research Board Special Report 299, "A Transportation Research Program for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Conserving Energy." Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Burbank, Cynthia J
  • Publication Date: 2009-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 51p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01145982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 10 2009 11:09AM