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States Collaborate To Present A MoU Draft On Clean Transport System


Government and corporate groups see market-based approach to be a vital need to address transport emissions.

Dailycsr.com – 24 December 2019 – Leading corporate organisations from all over the “Northeast and Mid-Atlantic” are in all praise for the governors who are taking forward the transport system in the region besides cutting down on emissions from trucks and cars.
On December 17, 2019 twelve states, namely “Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont”, along with the Columbian District revealed a draft MoU, memorandum of understanding, which outlines a market oriented policy for creating an efficient, clean and equitable system of transportation in the region.
Since 2017, these jurisdictions have worked with the “Transportation and Climate Initiative” to address and overcome the “transportation challenges” in the region. Moreover, with the crisis of climate change becoming more pressing it is of utmost urgency to act immediately to contain the “average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius”. Likewise, it is also equally important to simultaneously curb the “scale of greenhouse gas emission”, especially from vehicles and hastening the pace of the efforts made towards the same.
The above mentioned announcement materialised following more than four years of insistence and efforts from the stakeholders whereby over seventy “investors, companies, hospital systems, colleges and universities” along with corporate consortiums and “trade associations” provided their input on the future of regional transport. These visions included investing in “critical transportation infrastructure, efficient and reliable public transportation, and the electrification of the transportation sector”. In the words of the Etsy’s chief executive officer, Josh Silverman:
“Etsy strives to limit the negative impact that our operations have on the environment and even took the bold step of becoming the first global ecommerce marketplace to offset 100% of emissions from shipping. But climate change cannot be solved by any one person, company, or government body. Everyone needs to do their part and focus on this critical issue. That’s why we are excited by the prospect of system-wide solutions to tackle emissions from the transportation sector. We see collaborative solutions like the Transportation and Climate Initiative as a critical step in driving meaningful reductions in carbon emissions in the long term.”
While, the Sustainability Vice-President of Autodesk, Lynelle Cameron informed:
“Autodesk has its own internal price on carbon, so we have some experience integrating the cost of carbon into business decisions and mitigating against long-term risk. A market-based approach to tackling transportation emissions is a vital step in addressing the climate challenge while also benefiting the region’s economy.”
The chairman, president as well as the chief executive officer of Eversource, Jim Judge staed:
“As we work to meet the region’s aggressive carbon reduction goals, it is critical that we make the transportation sector – which is one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gas emissions—cleaner. We’re committed at Eversource to developing clean energy and innovative solutions that help decarbonize the transportation sector, and we look forward to working with state leaders to strengthen our electric vehicle infrastructure across the region.” 

Similarly, the Hackensack Meridian Health’s vice-president and chief of staff, Kenny Esser said:
“A cleaner transportation future, such as electrification of the transportation sector, is not only critical to the long-term health of the planet but will also directly benefit the local air quality in many of our communities. The sooner we can transition to electric vehicles, the sooner we can improve air quality thereby reducing asthma rates, and really begin to build a sustainable future.”
Furthermore, the Manager of “fulfillment project implementation” at IKEA US, Steven Moelk is of the opinion that:
“Transportation impacts our business, our customers and supply chain everyday. That’s why we are committed to driving a clean transportation future with 100% of our home deliveries made in zero emission vehicles by 2025. As a business with operations across the region, IKEA sees TCI’s collaborative policy approach as an effective solution to improving our transportation system, expanding access to electric vehicles and curbing pollution throughout the region.”
Additionally, the Social Responsibility and Sustainability Vice-President of King Arthur Flour, Suzanne McDowell said:
“King Arthur Flour Company applauds the region’s leaders for prioritizing innovative policy solutions to curb transportation emissions. The opportunity to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, provide rural communities with more efficient and clean transportation solutions, and combat climate change makes this proposal a win-win. Vermont and the entire region have a lot to gain by accelerating our transition to clean transportation—and this policy proposal is an important first step to making that happen.”
Welcoming the government’s effort, the chairman of “Massachusetts Competitive Partnership”, Robert Reynolds who is also the president and chief executive officer of Putnam Investments added:
“We applaud Gov. Baker for tackling our regional transportation emissions challenges with a cap-and-trade solution. TCI will reduce carbon pollution and create transportation revenues that can be reinvested in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including our public transit system.”
While, the Worthen Industries’ chief executive, David Worthen said:
“As a manufacturer with operations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia, Worthen Industries understands the critical role transportation plays in the region’s economy. By working together, the region’s governors are seizing the opportunity to further tackle the challenges of climate change and transform our transportation system into a more modern, electrified and efficient system.”
According to the MoU, a market for “emissions allowances” is suggested wherein the wholesale dealers of “gasoline and on-road diesel” will have to purchase. Moreover, all the state joining this market will get the sale procedures of the allowances, while owning the right to decide how to use that money. Additionally, states will be able to use the revenue thus received for “public transit, electric vehicles and infrastructure and programs” that will improve transportation systems in “rural, urban and suburban communities”.
The MoU is likely to get finalised by the coming spring while requesting for comments in February 2020. Following this, each jurisdiction is expected to start adopting the agreement and decide on the investment options and the processes received from the allowance revenue. According to Ceres:
“The business community remains committed to supporting this policy development process to ensure the region moves forward with a thriving transportation future that benefits everyone”.