Bloomberg BNA: States Bet on Green Economy as Trump Dumps Climate Programs

June 19, 2017

Vicki Arroyo, in an interview with Bloomberg BNA, discussed how far states and cities can go to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without a federal policy and what specific steps they may take to meet the Paris goals.

“I can’t believe we’re in 2017 and we’re still having the same jobs-versus-the-environment tired conversation,” Arroyo told Bloomberg BNA. “It’s unfortunate that we’re in this decentralized, balkanized kind of conversation.”

Arroyo noted that transportation systems are one area where states can look to reduce emissions. The White House announced earlier this year that it would revisit the Obama administration’s fuel economy and emissions standards for model years 2022 to 2025 cars and light-duty trucks.

“That’s going to be a really important thing to protect,” Arroyo said. “There are other battles to be fought at the state and federal level, and I think that transportation is right up there.”

Five states—Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—announced in November 2015 that they wanted to expand on the initiative to develop a regional, market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. The Georgetown Climate Center is working with the states, and Arroyo said those efforts are at the working group level.

A 2015 report from the Georgetown Climate Center estimated that carbon pollution in the Transportation and Climate Initiative region could be cut by 29 percent to 40 percent by 2030 through investments in clean vehicles, freight rail, mass transit, and other programs.

Arroyo said another reason why cities and states are moving on climate change is that they are on the front lines when it comes to the impact and costs of climate change and extreme weather events. She told BNA she expects that states and cities will continue to be active in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“It’s real and it’s here and its going to only grow over time,” she said.

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