Caltrans released a comprehensive report Wednesday detailing its efforts to fight climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing new technology such as low-energy cement and efficient LED lighting. The report also describes the department’s efforts to adapt to the negative effects of climate change, such as more frequent and intense flooding and heat waves.
“Climate change poses an immediate and growing threat to California’s infrastructure, and Caltrans is fighting back,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans is cutting greenhouse gas emissions by reducing traffic congestion, expanding alternatives to driving, and embracing new technology in construction materials.”
“This report shows significant efforts at Caltrans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change,” said Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary of the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency. “Caltrans is embracing innovation and new technology to reduce emissions and operate more efficiently than ever before.”
This report details the efforts of Caltrans to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. The report shows that Caltrans or its contractors have reduced emissions by at least 161,000 tons annually, the equivalent of removing 31,000 cars off the road.
Caltrans is cutting greenhouse gas emissions by reducing traffic congestion, expanding active transportation and embracing new technology in construction materials, alternative fuels, efficient lighting and renewable energy. Some of the major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions include:
* Adopting new standards for cement production that reduced annual statewide emissions by more than 108,000 tons annually;
* Installing efficient roadway lighting and using alternative fuels and vehicles in the state fleet to cut greenhouse gases by 41,000 tons of C02 equivalent per year; and
* Completing renewable energy projects that reduce emissions by at least 11,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
“Caltrans’ innovative solutions show how the state of California is leading the way and using the latest advances in clean technology to effectively reduce greenhouse gases,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.
Caltrans was one of the first state agencies to successfully certify its greenhouse gas emissions inventory with the California Climate Action Registry.
Today’s report also describes major efforts by Caltrans to adapt to the major effects of climate change including increased flooding and heat waves. Some of the steps Caltrans is taking to adapt to climate change include using native plants for landscaping to reduce irrigation requirements and installing solar panels on 70 Caltrans buildings to generate 3.6 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually. Caltrans is also developing a standard specification for cool pavements that can be used to reduce urban heat in the face of global warming.
The mission of Caltrans is to improve mobility across California by planning, designing, maintaining and operating more than 50,000 roadway lane-miles in California. In partnership with regional and local agencies, Caltrans also plans other transportation modes including public transit, aviation, bicycling and walking.
A copy of the 2013 report, Caltrans Activities to Address Climate Change, is available here: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/orip/climate_change/assessment.shtml.