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Mitigating Climate Change Through Transportation and Land Use Policy

May 2019

Citation: 49 ELR 10473

Issue: 5

Author: Alejandro E. Camacho, Melissa L. Kelly, Nicholas J. Marantz, and Gabriel Weil

A number of U.S. state and local governments have adopted strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation and land development. Although some have made significant progress in reducing GHG emissions from the power sector, transportation emissions in most states continue to rise. This Article details the range of existing and proposed state interventions to reduce transportation-sector GHG emissions, analyzes the trade offs of these strategies, and offers recommendations to improve and supplement such initiatives, including strategic use of planning mandates and funding and technical assistance. Additionally, regulating land use, shifting transportation spending, removing barriers to implementing road pricing policies, and altering standards for environmental impact analysis can more effectively reduce transportation-sector GHG emissions and mitigate climate change.

Alejandro E. Camacho is a Professor of Law and the Faculty Director at the University of California Irvine (UCI) School of Law’s Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR). Melissa L. Kelly is the Staff Director and an Attorney at CLEANR. Nicholas J. Marantz is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at UCI’s School of Social Ecology. Gabriel Weil is an Environmental and Land Use Fellow at CLEANR.

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