Ceres made significant strides in 2016 to advance policies and best business practices for reducing emissions from the transportation sector, which last year surpassed electric power generation as the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. As the country makes steady progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency, global warming pollution from automobiles, trucks, ships and airplanes is becoming a bigger piece of the emissions pie.
The U.S. fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles are key to reducing transportation emissions. In 2016, Ceres released economic research on the impact of preserving the 2022-2025 standards and found that the automakers would be profitable under a wide range of fuel price scenarios, and that suppliers – which provide many more American jobs than automakers – would lose $3.6 billion a year through 2025 if the 2022-2025 standards were weakened.
Armed with those findings, our Investor and Company network members publicly advocated in 2016 for staying the course on the 2022-2025 standards. Although the Trump administration has opened the door to weakening these standards, our network members continue to make the economic case for retaining strong standards and have demonstrated a commitment to continuing to actively defend the standards.
Ceres also mobilized network members to publicly advocate for the adoption of robust heavy duty truck fuel efficiency standards to tackle the single fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., while also reducing companies’ shipping costs. We celebrated when federal and state agencies released a final rule calling for greater reductions, as advocated by our network members. It now appears that these standards will be preserved despite the Trump administration, thanks in large part to strong business support.
In 2016, we also updated the transportation expectations in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, calling on companies to prioritize low-carbon transportation systems and modes – especially fleet electrification – and to minimize the carbon footprint of business travel and commuting.
Electric utilities have a potentially significant role to play in enabling lower-carbon transportation. Ceres Company Network member PG&E is helping pave the way for the electrification of transportation. In 2016, it received a green light to develop 7,500 electric vehicle charging stations at workplaces, residential buildings, and in disadvantaged communities in California.