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Climate change and transportation : challenges and opportunities.
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    Research report; 2008-2009.
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  • Abstract:
    Transportation in the United States is responsible for a disproportionate amount of global greenhouse gas emissions,

    which contribute to climate change. To address the issue, strategies that seek to mitigate transportation-related

    greenhouse gas emissions and adapt transportation systems to the threats of a more inhospitable climate should be

    developed through the transportation planning process. The transportation plans and related documentation of 60

    metropolitan planning organizations, 13 domestic cities, and 27 large international cities were reviewed to ascertain if

    climate change considerations are being incorporated into transportation planning. The review of transportation plans

    revealed that climate change considerations are often not incorporated into the planning process, especially in regard to

    adapting transportation systems to the effects of climate change due to the inherent uncertainties in climate data and risk

    analysis. On the other hand, greenhouse gas mitigation is more frequently included in the planning process, when

    compared to climate change adaptation, because the required data collection techniques and analysis tools are better

    developed and already in place within many planning organizations. This research has shown that there is much room for

    improvement in terms of including climate change into transportation planning through a variety of recommendations

    presented in the body of this report. Many of the identified mitigation and adaptation recommendations could be worked

    into existing transportation planning requirements, processes, and strategies at the metropolitan and local level. However,

    due to the influence by federal and state governments on the planning process, completely addressing climate change

    through transportation systems will require these high levels of government to redefine transportation regulations and

    planning requirements in addition to partnering with metropolitan planning organizations and local governments to

    develop more reliable climate data and increase its availability.

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