The neighborhood around Tilden Middle School in Philadelphia, PA.
LOW-CARBON TRANSPORTATION - The neighborhood around Tilden Middle School in Philadelphia, PA. © Jaci Downs


The Nature Conservancy Responds to the Transportation Climate Initiative's Plans for a Regional Low-Carbon Transportation Policy Proposal

Today nine states and the District of Columbia announced their intention to develop a regional approach to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector. The regional policy effort will involve setting an overall limit on transportation-related carbon emissions across all the participating states that declines over time. The nine states—Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia—cover much of the Northeast and  Mid-Atlantic region. Each of the states and District of Columbia are participants in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration that released recommendations for reducing transportation sector emissions earlier this year, and most are also members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

“The transportation sector in the U.S. is currently the number one contributor to greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change,” says Lynn Scarlett, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for The Nature Conservancy. “We applaud these states who have taken up the challenge to address climate change – one that emphasizes reducing traffic congestion, increases the use of public transportation, alleviates stress on infrastructure, and improves air quality. We look forward to working with the states and with other stakeholders to sustain economic opportunities while safeguarding a future for our children.”

The Nature Conservancy encourages the states to utilize the program to make further investments in low-carbon transportation options, including transit, electric vehicles, and other mechanisms that reduce emissions. TNC also applauds the states’ desire to address public health issues in historically overburdened communities, increase transportation options and economic opportunities in rural areas, and improve the resilience of the transportation system.

State Programs Speak Out

MARYLAND & DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: “I’m proud to work in a region where tackling climate change is a bi-partisan effort. Thank you, Governor Hogan and Mayor Bowser, for your continued leadership in the fight against climate change and for signing onto the Transportation Climate Initiative,.” said Tim Purinton, Executive Director of the Maryland/DC chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “Carbon emissions, like our region’s transportation infrastructure, know no state bounds and when we put down our partisan divisions and work together solutions emerge.” 

MASSACHUSETTS: “With its participation in this critical regional initiative, the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito has shown great leadership,” said Wayne Klockner, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. “We look forward to continued collaboration to provide benefits for vulnerable populations and all communities, the economy, resiliency, and the environment.”

CONNECTICUT: “With this announcement, the Northeast is making a statement to the rest of the country that we are prepared to lead efforts toward a low carbon future,” Connecticut State Director Dr. Frogard Ryan said. “Transportation is one of the leading sources of carbon pollution in our atmosphere. Expanding access to public transit and other smart transportation options in Connecticut will bring us closer to meeting our reduction goals.”

The transportation sector in the U.S. is currently the number one contributor to greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change.

Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, TNC

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.