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Regional coalition releases draft plan for emission caps, transportation investment

Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media

An interstate coalition including Delaware has outlined a plan to reduce carbon emissions. 

The Transportation Climate Initiative is comprised of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states representing 72 million people and 52 million registered vehicles.

It released a draft version of a Memorandum of Understanding this week outlining plans to cap carbon emissions in the region and invest in low-emission transportation.  

Sierra Club Eastern Region Deputy Director Mark Kresowik praises the MOU, but says it needs to go further. He says Delaware as a state can do more as well.

“Doing more to support electric busses; electric vehicles. For instance, joining the zero emissions vehicle memorandum of understanding that many states in the region have,” said Kresowik. “So that’s one opportunity for Delaware to be more ambitious.”  

The TCI’s MOU calls for states to invest in programs to help residents transition to affordable, low-carbon transportation options. It seeks to target underserved communities while still providing enough flexibility for market stability.

Kresowik says most Delawareans support this initiative.

“Sierra Club did a poll about a year ago that showed overwhelming support for a modern clean transportation system and for this very concept,” he said. “Nearly three quarters [sic] of Delaware residents support this. So definitely something the state should move forward with.”  

The TCI states count transportation as the largest source of emissions in the region, accounting for 43%. The draft proposal calls for the states to reduce total emissions by up to 25% by 2032.

The states will gather public input and are planning to finalize the MOU in the spring.