Tag: climate change

RELEASE: IPCC Climate Change Report

RELEASE: IPCC Climate Change Report

For Immediate Release

August 9, 2021

Cheryl Cort, cheryl@smartergrowth.net 
Jane Lyons, jane@smartergrowth.net
Sonya Breehey, sonya@smartergrowth.net

Today’s Alarming Climate Report – The DC Region Can and Should Do its Part 

Today, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued what the U.N. Chief calls a “Code Red for Humanity” highlighting worse climate impacts to come unless we act without further delay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. See today’s Washington Post story on the IPCC report. Lead author, scientist Claudia Tebaldi, is quoted in the article urging people to focus on what can still be done to quickly reduce our emissions footprint.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth therefore urges every local, state, regional, and federal official to make fundamental changes in our land use, transportation, housing, and energy policies to slash our emissions. The DC region has committed itself to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. With transportation now our number one source of emissions, we need to commit to reductions in this sector in particular. Electric vehicles are essential for meeting our climate targets, but studies show that they are not enough and that our cities and suburbs must also reduce the need to drive for daily needs.

The good news is that by focusing on creating walkable, bike-friendly, mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhoods, creating more housing and more affordable housing in these communities, expanding transit, and ending highway expansion, we can reduce the amount that we have to drive and slash our emissions.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, walkable, transit-accessible communities provide a wide range of benefits including lower combined housing and transportation costs, cleaner air and improved health, and access to opportunity for all levels of our workforce.

We can do this! The smart growth climate-friendly solutions are:

  1. More transit that serves travel outside of traditional 9-5 office commutes;
  2. More transit-oriented centers and corridors;
  3. More housing and dedicated affordable units close to jobs and transit;
  4. Streets where walking and biking are priorities for safe travel;
  5. 15-minute neighborhoods where you can walk or bike to daily needs within 15 minutes, without having to get into a car;
  6. Stopping the never-ending and futile highway and arterial expansion that simply increases sprawling development, driving and traffic;
  7. Greener, more energy-efficient buildings;
  8. Switching to clean, renewable energy, and electric vehicles starting with buses, high-use fleet vehicles, and trucks for maximum emissions reductions.


CSG Testimony Re: Visualize 2045 Climate Commitments

April 21, 2021 

Hon. Charles Allen 

Chair, National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board 

Re: Call for a climate-friendly Visualize 2045 update 

Chair Allen and Board members: 

Tomorrow is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, and 2030 is just 9 years away. By which time we  must slash greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. Transportation is our largest emitter and electric vehicles will not be enough. We must reduce VMT by 15 to 25%, and increase non-auto mode  share by 15 to 20%. 

You voted 22 to 0 with 8 abstentions (VDOT changed from No to Abstain) to require that  members “prioritize investments on projects, programs, and policies to reduce greenhouse gas  emissions, prioritize the aspirational strategies, and achieve COG’s land use and equity goals.” 

But in response, your DOT staffs are arguing their road projects reduce VMT and emissions, and without showing how. Building new highways and widening highways and arterials does not reduce VMT or GHG emissions. Nor do HOT lanes. This is because induced demand is a proven  fact. New capacity fills up in just a few years with more vehicle trips and VMT, and sparks more  auto-dependent sprawl. Not to mention the impact of highways in loss of thousands of acres of  forests, more impervious surface and stormwater, and the negative health and equity issues. 

You are the leaders who can and must break us out of business-as-usual and craft a plan that  focuses on TOD and proximity, correcting the E-W jobs divide, transit-first, and local connected  street grids with safe bike/ped networks. 

The DC region can and must be a leader in smart growth and sustainable transportation — starting with a new climate-friendly CLRP. 

Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director

Bill Pugh, Senior Policy Fellow

Sign-On Letter to Transportation Planning Board on Cutting Carbon Emissions

The undersigned organizations call on the National Capital Transportation Planning Board (TPB) to strengthen the resolution before it to affirm COG’s accepted long range CO2 target of 80% reductions by 2050 in two ways: 1) Include a deadline of September 30, 2015 to complete committee work and the final report in time to inform the next CLRP process 

Testimony to the TPB re Climate Change and the CLRP Update

Over the past three years and particularly since last summer, the TPB has asked the staff to review CLRP updates for conformance with the goals of Region Forward, the COG Climate Report, Access for All, and the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan. The COG staff, elected officials and a wide range of stakeholders have committed significant time and resources into developing these plans and associated goals.

DC region’s new long-range plan fail to meet its own climate goals

If sea levels rise just one foot in the Washington, DC, area, nearly 1,700 homes could be lost. Is the region’s transportation planning agency doing enough to stop that from happening? Several environmental and smart-growth organizations in the region are saying no. Seventeen groups have signed on to a letter, being delivered today, urging the agency to take action. The comment period on the agency’s latest long-range transportation plan closes tomorrow.

Cool Communities

Cool Communities

When you think cool communities, you might think of vibrant neighborhoods with great streets and parks, coffee shops, bars and restaurants, a variety of stores and other activities. But these communities also offer the opportunity to help reduce the warming of our climate, while reducing oil consumption and transportation costs. Where we build and how we build our neighborhoods will make a real difference.

Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change

Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change

This publication is based on an exhaustive review of existing research on the relationship among urban development, travel, and the CO2 emitted by motor vehicles. It provides evidence on and insights into how much CO2 savings can be expected with compact development, how compact development is likely to be received by consumers, and what policy changes will make compact development possible.