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Climate Crisis

This guide provides information, resources, and data on the climate crisis

Sustainable Transport

Sustainable transport refers to ways of transportation that are sustainable in terms of their social and environmental impacts. Components for evaluating sustainability include the particular vehicles used for road, water or air transport; the source of energy; and the infrastructure used to accommodate the transport (roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals and terminals).

Transport systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The majority of the emissions, 95%, came from direct burning of fossil fuels.

The U.S. transportation sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector of our economy. In 2019, transportation accounted for 33% of emissions in the United States – and that statistic doesn’t even account for the full lifecycle of transportation-related emissions, such as the emissions from building our transportation infrastructure.


Sustainable infrastructure is the urban /suburban planning and architecture models that increase environmentally friendly modes of transportation, such as cycling, walking, and public transportation, and decrease transportation that leads to increasing carbon-emissions, such as:

  • Bikeways
  • Greenways
  • busways
  • Pedestrian zones/car restricted zones
  • Speed reduction designs
  • Congestion pricing
  • Parking management

Clean Transportation

A green vehicle, clean vehicle, eco-friendly vehicle or environmentally friendly vehicle is a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Green vehicles can be powered by alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies, including:

  • hybrid electric vehicles
  • plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • battery electric vehicles
  • compressed-air vehicles
  • hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles
  • neat ethanol vehicles
  • flexible-fuel vehicles
  • natural gas vehicles
  • clean diesel vehicles
  • blends of biodiesel and ethanol fuel or gasohol

Collective Transit

Collective passenger transit are forms of shared transportation and public transportation, which reduce the amount of carbon-emissions by increasing the number of passengers in any single vehicle, including:

  • Urban Public Transit Systems
  • Bus Transit
  • Rail Transit
  • Demand-Responsive Transit
  • Park & Ride
  • Car Pooling

Commercial Freight

Freight consists of goods conveyed by water, air, or land, while cargo refers specifically to freight when conveyed via water or air. Freight and cargo transport can be sustainable by using clean vehicles and fuels, as well as other means to improve environmental impacts, such as:

  • Clean vehicles/Clean Fleets
  • Dry ports
  • Fleet management
  • Route planning
  • Intermodal freight