Politics Investing in public transit is a climate imperative
COP26 ended with the 'Glasgow Climate Pact.' Here's where it succeeded and failed
Nearly 200 countries adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact in Scotland on Saturday at talks known as COP26, after nearly two weeks of wrangling on everything from how much to limit global warming, what to say about fossil fuels and whether the worst-hit countries by the climate crisis should be compensated. © PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images A woman walks past a COP26 sign covered with plants inside the Action Hub during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow © Alberto Pezzali/AP Britain's Alok Sharma, second left, President of the COP26 and Patricia Espinosa, left, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary applaud during the closin
Many in Congress have rightly emphasized the need for climate action in the bipartisan infrastructure package currently dominating Washington's attention. To adequately address the rapidly accelerating threat of climate change and its impacts on communities across the nation, one thing needs to be made abundantly clear: Investing in public transportation is critical, and Congress shouldn't shortchange it.
President Biden has already committed to athat aims to reduce our economy's greenhouse emissions by over 50 percent from 2005 levels, specifically stating the need to reduce transportation pollution. Since the transportation sector continues to be the nation's of greenhouse gas emissions, achieving this goal will require a dramatic reduction in reliance on passenger vehicles and a shift towards public transit nationwide. And to handle larger commuter loads, we must prioritize a steady stream of federal investment to help maintain mass transit systems and ensure our transit buses are electric in order to improve air quality and protect public health.
Daily on Energy: Large asset manager joins forces with green group
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 A PARTNERSHIP TO SWAY COMPANIES: The Environmental Defense Fund and one of the world’s largest global asset managers have formed a new partnership designed to push companies to address the risks posed by climate change and reduce emissions. London-based LGIM, which manages $1.
Public transit systems offer a sustainable and efficient transportation option in highly populated areas (where emissions levels are highest), and reliable transit is also. And there is broad support for public transit. A of voters would be disappointed if upgrades and expansions to energy-efficient public transportation were omitted from the infrastructure bill.
Clean transportation investments are an urgent imperative. People across the planet are experiencing the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis, including unprecedented temperatures, rising sea levels, unpredictable weather patterns, and increased weather-related disasters. If reducing greenhouse emissions is at the center of our nation's climate policy, then tackling the largest source of pollution must be at the forefront of the climate debate.
Can America prevent a global warming cold war?
There is a glaring geopolitical disparity in climate action between democracies and dictatorships.Yet, the climate crisis doesn't permit the luxury of time. Leading science finds that to limit devastating near-term climate impacts, and reduce risks of runaway warming, China especially must cut its emissions as soon as possible this decade, not just in the long-term. So far, however, despite the new declaration, and climate discussions this week between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing has made no such commitment. In fact, Chinese coal use just reached an all-time high.
Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately suffering from transportation pollution and the impacts of climate change. Curbing transportation pollution and improving access to transit is a matter of protecting our most vulnerable communities. Infrastructure investments must be rooted in climate, justice and job creation. This is a once-in-a-generation chance for big investments in transit funding. Failing to go big enough is not an option.
Disproportionate energy consumption from cars and light trucks causes serious harm to air quality, particularly in our cities and surrounding areas. A recently publishedfrom Harvard and the University of North Carolina found that in New York City alone, over 1,400 premature deaths and billions of dollars in health care costs are incurred every year strictly due to pollution emanated by the tens of thousands of vehicles congesting the metro area. The harmful air quality has led to chronic health problems like high rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
How should we teach children about climate change?
Experts say it's time for India's schools to start teaching climate change as a distinct subject.Hardly anyone picks environment, he said. Not even in recent years since the perils of climate change have become more real everywhere - temperatures are higher than ever, glaciers are melting faster, violent cyclones and wildfires have become common, and children are at higher risk because of all of this.
Our choices in transportation have real-life consequences in both the near and long-term, and we need to make decisions that reflect the magnitude of the environmental challenges we face. This must start with a legislative infrastructure package that prioritizes smart investment in our public transit infrastructure that reduces transportation emissions and energy consumption.
Public transit systems need to have the resources necessary to meet 21st-century needs to reduce dependency on environmentally harmful vehicles. We need to modernize and expand public transit infrastructure across the country to increase functionality, productivity and access to allow more individuals to choose more environmentally conscious commuting options.
There is no one solution to this problem. Addressing climate change requires a multi-pronged approach that includes bold investments in electric vehicle technology and renewable energy sources. For those blocking progress - every day of inaction translates to further depreciation of already outdated infrastructure, devastating economic losses and unnecessary ripple effects in our air quality and public health.
Katherine Garcia is the acting director of Sierra Club's Clean Transportation for All campaign. Established in 1892,is one of the oldest environmental advocacy organizations in the world.
Climate change brings a perfect storm of raw sewage and rainfall in cities that can least afford it .
Communities saddled with aging sewer systems now face harder and more frequent rainfalls that can lead to toxic spills of sewage.Within hours, standing water that started as puddles grew into a swiftly moving current that carried vehicles away. Across Paterson, the downpour stranded drivers and flooded homes, businesses and schools. In the nearly five decades she has lived in the historic, ethnically diverse city, Arencibia had never seen such an inundation.