Transportation & Climate Justice: Tackling Inequities in Access & Impact

Transportation & Climate Justice: Tackling Inequities in Access & Impact
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Transportation is an essential part of our daily lives, but it also has a significant impact on the environment. The transportation sector is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. At the same time, access to transportation is not equitable, with marginalized communities often lacking access to affordable and reliable transportation options. In this article, we will explore transportation and climate justice, focusing on how we can address inequities in access and impact.

Transportation and Climate Change:

Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounted for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2018. The majority of these emissions come from cars and trucks, which are powered by fossil fuels. These emissions contribute to climate change, which has a range of negative impacts on the environment and human health.

Transportation Inequities:

Access to transportation is not equal, with marginalized communities often lacking access to affordable and reliable transportation options. This lack of access can have significant impacts on individuals and communities. For example, it can make it more challenging to access job opportunities, health care, and education. It can also lead to social isolation and increased costs for necessities like food and medicine.

Addressing Transportation and Climate Justice:

Transportation and climate justice require a multifaceted approach that addresses both the impacts of transportation on the environment and the access inequities faced by marginalized communities. Here are some ways we can address these issues:

1.Investing in Public Transportation:

Investing in public transportation can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide more equitable access to transportation. Public transportation, such as buses and trains, can be powered by renewable energy sources like electricity or biofuels, reducing emissions. Additionally, public transportation can be more affordable and accessible for marginalized communities, providing an essential lifeline for those who cannot afford a personal vehicle.

2.Encouraging Active Transportation:

Active transportation, such as biking and walking, is an excellent way to reduce emissions and improve health. Encouraging active transportation can be done by creating bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets, as well as providing access to affordable bikes and other active transportation options.

3.Addressing Systemic Inequities:

Systemic inequities in access to transportation need to be addressed to create a more just and equitable transportation system. This can be done by investing in transportation infrastructure in marginalized communities, creating affordable transportation options, and addressing issues like job access, health care, and education.

FAQs

Q: What is transportation and climate justice?

A: Transportation and climate justice focus on the ways in which transportation impacts the environment and access to transportation options, particularly for marginalized communities. It seeks to address both the environmental impacts of transportation and the systemic inequities in access to transportation.

Q: Why is transportation important for climate change?

A: Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Reducing emissions from transportation is essential to addressing climate change.

Q: How can we address transportation inequities?

A: Investing in public transportation, encouraging active transportation, and addressing systemic inequities are all ways to address transportation inequities. This can be done through infrastructure investments, creating affordable transportation options, and addressing issues like job access and education.

Q: What are the benefits of addressing transportation and climate justice?

A: Addressing transportation and climate justice can provide a range of benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and creating more equitable access to transportation options. It can also lead to better health outcomes and economic opportunities for marginalized communities.

Reference Link:

National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC)

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