Transportation and Climate Initiative

Green For All is part of a broad coalition of organizations working to develop a clean, equitable, modern transportation system in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Our goal is to make polluters pay for their pollution and invest in clean transportation solutions in the low-income communities and communities of color most impacted by climate change. We're working with community partners across the region, elevating and uplifting the concerns and voices of the most impacted, and ensuring they have the resources and tools they need so no one is left behind in the transition to a green economy.


What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), an effort of the Georgetown Climate Center, is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states (Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) and Washington D.C. seeking to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector.


What's at Stake:

  • Tailpipe pollution is deadly. Every year, more people die prematurely from traffic pollution-related health impacts than traffic accidents.
  • Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to traffic pollution and are overburdened with higher rates of asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. A recent study found that people of color are exposed to 66% more tailpipe pollution than white communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. 
  • Low-income families spend a higher proportion of their income on transportation costs - up to 30% - and are often driving older less efficient vehicles. Meanwhile, communities of color have longer average commute times  and are more likely to rely on public transportation as their only access to jobs and services.
  • The cost of pollution is not free. Polluters need to be held accountable and pay for the damages their pollution causes
  • With the money generated from polluters, we can invest in the most overburdened and under-resourced communities, and diminish the gap between eco-haves and eco-have-nots.

Background

In 2018, states announced they would develop a regional "cap-and-invest" program, which would set a strict limit on transportation emissions.

Polluters would need to purchase emissions allowances and the money raised would fund clean transportation solutions.

A carbon price alone is not enough. It is up to state officials to ensure environmental health and economic equity.

An effective carbon pricing program that delivers equitable results must:

  • Engage impacted communities throughout the policy design process and be transparent in implementation
  • Set a strong cap that holds polluters accountable for the damages
  • Dedicate funds targeted directly at overburdened and underserved communities
  • Ensure direct emissions reductions in communities hit first and worst by transportation emissions
  • Make sure that jobs created are good jobs that lift people and families out of poverty.

THE LATEST:

On February 13th, 2019, thirty-two representatives from equity, environmental justice, community, transit, labor, and social justice organizations met in Philadelphia at the Northeast Transportation Equity Convening. 
Principles were compiled from that discussion, co-created by participating groups and refined through subsequent conversations, including a subcommittee of organizations who attended the convening, and with input from one on one conversations with additional community leaders throughout the region.
On July 26th, 2019, eight racial, economic, environmental, and transit justice organizations submitted Policy Design Principles for an Equitable Clean Transportation Program. Read the letter here

What's Green For All's Role in TCI?

Green For All works to build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We advance solutions that bring clean energy, clean transportation, green jobs, and opportunities to the poorest, least served, and most polluted communities in the country. We have spent over a decade ensuring carbon pricing mechanisms lead to equitable solutions for overburdened and underserved communities. Green for All is working with racial justice, economic justice, transit justice, and environmental justice communities to ensure that the Transportation Climate Initiative ensures the program benefits those who need it the most.


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