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Incorporating GHG Emissions in the Planning Process

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The public should be actively involved throughout the process - the public and other stakeholders have important roles in helping to achieve reducing GHG emissions from transportation. Involving the public up front and gaining their acceptance of the benefits of programs to mitigate climate change can provide continued support for policies and programs to address GHGs.

Although Federal regulations do not require analyzing GHG emissions as part of statewide or metropolitan transportation planning, many actions to address GHG emissions can be initiated at the state and regional level. GHG consideration can be incorporated into the transportation planning process. Transportation planners have many factors to consider when developing plans. Discussion of climate change is becoming more common in transportation planning documents. Many State DOTs and MPOs are recognizing the role that transportation policies and investments play in contributing to the emissions of GHGs and conversely, the potential impact of climate change on transportation systems. Some long-range transportation plans (LRTPs) in particular are highlighting climate change among a new generation of environmental and sustainability issues that shape transportation planning objectives.

Potential Points for Addressing GHG Emissions in the Planning Process

Flowchart: 1. Stakeholder Identification and Initial Outreach. 2. Establish Vision, Goals, and Objectives. 3. Define Performance Measures, Data Availability, and Needs. 4. Develop a Baseline. 5. Develop Alternative Plan Scenarios. 6. Develop Plan and TIP/STIP. Feedback between 2 and 3, 5 and 6, and overall from 6 to 1.

Source: Adapted from: FHWA, "Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process," July 2008.

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Updated: 8/20/2013
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