The world needs fundamental and rapid changes in transportation technology, fuels and systems because of the immense and growing impact of transportation on the planet.
Increasingly, these impacts stem from three main and integrated challenges: urban air quality, energy security and climate change.
- Urban Air Quality: Transportation accounts for sixty percent or more of the emissions responsible for smog in most urban regions worldwide, and new studies warn of serious health damage from that pollution.
- Energy Security: Reliance on petroleum – particularly imported oil – creates serious economic and security threats. Increased global competition for oil, and growing limits on oil production and availability, create price spikes and volatility. Add to that, much world oil production is in unstable and unfriendly regions who receive hundreds of billions in funding each year from exporting oil.
- Climate Change: Global warming, the build up of carbon dioxide that is heating the planet, has become an undeniable force rapidly changing the Earth’s ecosystem and the best evidence shows it’s accelerating. Transportation globally accounts for fully a third of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change, and make up more than forty percent of California’s GHGs. Reducing these carbon-based emissions is a world imperative in the next decade.
Too often in the past, policies and technologies would target just one of these challenges, sometimes improving one to the detriment of the others. Going forward, single benefit solutions will not work. It is critical that an integrated and comprehensive approach is taken to find solutions and policies that address all three challenges. CALSTART focuses its efforts on solutions that address all these issues.