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ENE Releases Roadmap for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Northeast US and Eastern Canada

EIA Projections of New England transportation sector energy consumption through 2030. Click to enlarge.

Environment Northeast (ENE), a research and advocacy group, has released a detailed roadmap to reduce greenhouse gases in the region, which includes the Northeast US states and eastern Canadian provinces.

The 275-page Climate Change Roadmap is the result of two years of research, consultation with industry experts, peer groups and government officials, and a thorough review of best practices. The Roadmap’s 10 Priority Climate Solutions are broken down into three main categories: energy, transportation and storing carbon.

According to the report, transportation accounts for 124 of the 346 MMTCOe generated annually in the region, or approximately 35% of total GHG emissions.

If fully implemented, ENE estimates these 10 priorities would reduce greenhouse gas pollutants from power plants, industrial sources, cars and trucks and by storing carbon in the region’s forests and suitable geologic formations, totaling at least 35-40 million metric tons by 2020.

These 10 priorities would achieve the 2020 emissions targets set by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers and put the region on the path towards the mid-century target of 75% lower emissions.

Michael Stoddard, ENE Project Director and co-author of the Climate Change Roadmap said the regional approach expands the marketplace for new technologies, promotes uniformity of regulations, and shares the costs of research, development and planning.

The goal for the region is to emit one quarter of current greenhouse gas emission levels by 2050, while improving our quality of life and strengthening our state and provincial economies.

New lighting technology uses a quarter as much energy; new car technology can carry passengers using a quarter the amount of fuel; new power plant technology can provide electricity while emitting only a quarter as much CO2, so we know it can be done. Now we need to switch to these and other technologies across the entire economy.

—Michael Stoddard

Three of the 10 priority solutions are targeted at the transportation sector:

  1. Transition to No-Carbon or Low-Carbon Transportation Fuels
    1. Establish a declining net greenhouse gas fuel standard on a full lifecycle basis
    2. Explore pathways to develop low-greenhouse gas biofuels in the region
    3. Explore the expansion of electric mobility infrastructure (plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles)
  2. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Light-Duty Vehicles
    1. Implement emissions standards for all light-duty vehicles (supporting and implementing the California CO2 standards for new vehicles)
    2. Improve fuel economy standards in the US and Canada (and using procurement policies to accelerate the adoption of more fuel efficient vehicles)
    3. Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
  3. Reduce Emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles
    1. Reduce black carbon emissions form in-use diesel engines
    2. Promote improved efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles
    3. Improve the efficiency of the region’s freight transportation system

Over the longer term and by mid-century, contributions from all of the transportation policy elements recommended in this Transportation Chapter will be required in order to achieve the 75% to 85% emissions reduction goal. The growth in vehicle miles traveled will have to be eliminated and emissions per mile will have to be reduced through a combination of new technologies, improvements in vehicle efficiency, and lower net GHG content fuels.

The other policy proposals related to incentives, research and planning will likely be critical to achieving the deep reductions in emissions required for the transportation sector and support these four drivers and policies.




If people are really serious about lowering co2 emmisions why fixate on the hardest first? Why not start with solar hot water systems first. They are very effective and the payoff is only a year or two. It should be a requiremt for all new builds and major remodels.


I agree, solar thermal water heaters are cost effective and reduce GHG from NG or the electric generation. The biggest benefit they could have there would be converting coal fired power plants to IGCC. This is unlikely to happen, because there is no profit in eliminating GHG for the power producers.


Yeah. Best (or worst?) kept secret is solar thermal. I can't believe that there aren't more people putting these things up (and yeah, they should be mandatory in new construction along with dual mode toilets). Especially with the way that NG prices are going. It's really a no brainer. Our next house will have this for sure and hopefully a modest PV array as well.


If they want to save in transportation, they can get everyone to telecommute at least 1 day a week. That would reduce fuel usage, clean up the air and unclog the roads.


New England might not be the most ideal place to make a push for solar water heaters. Florida, California and the rest of the sunbelt should probably go first.


So far solar water heaters widespread is limited to places where there is no danger to water freezing at cold winter night, such as Israel and Greece. In Israel practically 100% of old houses and condos are retrofitted with solar heaters, and all new houses and buildings for many years are legislated to be built with solar heaters (and with bomb shelters). On modern high-rises water heating panels are integrated into building’s design and sometimes form very interesting architectural compositions. Solar water heaters supply about 5% of country total energy consumption (electricity + fuel). Seems to be no-brainer for Florida. California seems to be too busy to fight Global Warming to be destructed to such down-to-the-Earth things.

P.S. Popularity of solar water heaters in Israel began to gain momentum in early 70th, when it was Global Cooling to be “scare of the day”. Driving factors for solar heaters were substantial savings in electricity bills and desire to be energy independent from exported oil.


You can get a solar water heating system with an "anti-freeze" like liquid used to transfer heat to prevent freezing. These systems tend to be much more expensive than the simple water systems though.


No plug for the site, but you can see diagrams of solar heating systems here:

Also lots of DIY info here:

Since NG will be the first to run out, it is good to know about this stuff. But we could always gasify 1B tons of biomass to SNG and then run our cars on it, after we solar thermally heat our homes and buildings.

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