Global Climate Change and the Unique Challenges Posed by the Transportation Sector
Global Climate Change and the Unique Challenges Posed by the Transportation Sector Addressing the challenges posed by global climate change will eventually require the active participation of all industrial sectors and consumers on the planet. To date, however, most efforts to address climate change have focused on only a few sectors of the economy (e.g., refineries and fossil-fired electric power plants) and a handful of large industrialized nations. While useful as a starting point, these efforts must be expanded to include other sectors of the economy and other nations. The transportation sector presents some unique challenges, with its nearly exclusive dependence on petroleum based products as a fuel source coupled with internal combustion engines as the prime mover. Reducing carbon emissions from transportation systems is unlikely to be solely accomplished by traditional climate mitigation policies that place a price on carbon. Our research shows that price signals alone are unlikely to fundamentally alter the demand for energy services or to transform the way energy services are provided in the transportation sector. We believe that a technological revolution will be necessary to accomplish the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
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