Over the last few years, the impacts of climate change have moved from something we worried about happening in the future to something we see happening all around us right now. Intense rainfalls, more damaging hurricanes, more wildfires, and droughts are all consequences of rising temperatures caused by human-induced climate change. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has been the main cause of changes in the climate in recent years. Unfortunately, it’s been rising for decades.

The U.S. transportation sector causes about a third of the Green House Gases (GHC) emissions that damage the country’s climate. In areas like California, transportation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas pollution. It leads to about 40% of the state’s emissions. Reducing transportation emissions is one of the most crucial steps in fighting the climate crisis. We need to stop depending on fossil fuel-powered vehicles and gravitate towards zero emissions in all transport sectors. Safe to say, solutions to the problem of transportation emissions are already underway. 

The Obama administration established standards for greenhouse gas and mileage in 2012. The standards decreed reaching at most gas mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Today, there are commercially available vehicles that meet and surpass this standard. This includes a wide variety of zero-emission vehicles. The technology for these vehicles continues to advance at a rapid rate. To meet the requirements of the climate crisis, we need to stop the use of vehicles with internal combustion engines within the next decade. Some countries have committed to prohibiting the sale of new fossil-fuel cars by 2030. They include Sweden, Germany, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

While governments are addressing air pollution, the networks needed to create solidarity for transformative change are often insufficient. The UN Environment Programme acknowledges this by establishing global transport strategies. These encourage the growth of a world that is less care-intensive. It promotes switching to public transport from private motor vehicles. Additionally, it encourages people to adopt electric vehicles in public and private transit systems. Governments should create safe spaces for people to use non-motorized methods of transport like cycling and walking. Failure to reduce transport emissions may cause deaths from exposure to exhaust fumes in urban areas to increase by over 50% by 2030.

Aircraft are the third-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S. transportation sector. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Agency at the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization have generated global carbon dioxide emissions standards for planes. This will ensure that the future of aviation will be unbiased, decarbonized, and will not rely on inaccurate solutions to the climate emergency. 

The Renewable Fuel Standard program was created to diminish dependency on imported oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps grow the nation’s renewable fuels sector. Compared to fossil fuels, renewable fuels can decrease greenhouse gas emissions with high efficiency. 

If we all play our part in reducing negative environmental impacts, we will create a better lifestyle for ourselves. A cleaner environment will help reduce health complications like lung diseases and cancer caused by the pollutants in our environment. 

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