Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1742-1764; doi:10.3390/su2061742
Article

Addressing Climate Change at the State and Local Level: Using Land Use Controls to Reduce Automobile Emissions

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Received: 29 April 2010; in revised form: 13 May 2010 / Accepted: 17 May 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Automobiles are a major source of CO2 emissions. Because there is no immediate technological fix to reduce these emissions, the most promising current strategy is to promote less automobile use. In the United States, this is difficult because federal programs such as the interstate highway system and local land use planning and regulation have encouraged suburban sprawl. In 2006, the state of California passed legislation to roll back greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This legislation did not link the roll back target with land use policies. However, NGOs and the state Attorney General used the state’s pre-existing environmental impact assessment act to sue a large county east of Los Angeles alleging that its revised land use plan was inconsistent with the 2006 legislation. The state and the county settled the suit after the county agreed to new greenhouse gas mitigation duties, and in 2008 California passed additional legislation to implement its 2006 statute. Communities are strongly encouraged to adopt compact, transit-oriented development strategies to limit automobile use. The new legislation gives the attorney general and NGOs additional legal authority to challenge local land use plans and regulatory decisions which fail to adopt these strategies. California’s important experiment has lessons for all urban areas struggling to reduce automobile CO2 emissions. It suggests that local land use controls can be added to the list of workable greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.
Keywords: sustainable land use; transportation-linked greenhouse gas reduction; environmental impact assessment; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Medina, R.; Tarlock, A.D. Addressing Climate Change at the State and Local Level: Using Land Use Controls to Reduce Automobile Emissions. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1742-1764.

AMA Style

Medina R, Tarlock AD. Addressing Climate Change at the State and Local Level: Using Land Use Controls to Reduce Automobile Emissions. Sustainability. 2010; 2(6):1742-1764.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Medina, Rachel; Tarlock, A. Dan. 2010. "Addressing Climate Change at the State and Local Level: Using Land Use Controls to Reduce Automobile Emissions." Sustainability 2, no. 6: 1742-1764.

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