The transportation sector is the greatest source of GHG emissions in New York and the United States. Most of these emissions (60 percent) come from passenger vehicles.
The New York Times recently published a map of auto emissions throughout America, documenting how emissions have trended in various cities between 1990 and 2017.
Key take-aways from the map include:
Emissions from driving in the Buffalo metro area grew while population decrease, indicating emissions per person have increased
Despite vehicles becoming more efficient, emissions from the transportation sector continue to rise as Americans drive more miles and buy more SUVs and trucks
The Trump administration is expected to roll back efficient standards created under the Obama administration
This data is unsurprising, especially as we continue to experience urban sprawl in our region. According to the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council’s One Region Forward plan, since 1970, the urbanized area of Buffalo-Niagara grew by 166 square miles despite a population loss of 16 percent. The result—we drive more and are less likely to use sustainable, low-emission transportation modes such as public transportation, biking, or walking.
If you are interested in how to reduce your local transportation footprint, please visit gobuffaloniagara.org to learn how to rethink your commute and make healthier, happier choices for yourself and your community.