Investors and companies laud state leaders for moving forward on new approach to tackle transportation emissions
Investors and companies are praising the announcement from Northeast and MidAtlantic governors and the District of Columbia on their intent to move forward in establishing a regional program to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and bring about a clean transportation future.
Over the next year, nine states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont, and the District of Columbia will work together in pursuit of a market-based approach to create a clean, equitable and efficient transportation system.
“As a global real estate management firm, JLL understands the economic imperative of investing in clean transportation solutions,” said Cynthia Curtis, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at JLL. “A market-based approach to modernizing the region’s transportation system will benefit businesses and keep these state economies thriving. We applaud the leadership of these governors and encourage them to be bold in their efforts to tackle emissions and electrify our transportation system.”
“As an institution committed to the health and wellbeing of our community, Partners HealthCare understands that cutting transport emissions is essential to the region’s economy and the health of its residents,” said Lisa Scannell, Corporate Director of Supply Chain Management at Partners HealthCare. “Strong regional policies that will expand transportation options and electrify our transportation system will help improve air quality and mitigate public health impacts.”
This announcement follows a year-long regional listening session process held by seven states and the District of Columbia, aimed at identifying regional policies to modernize transportation systems and substantially reduce emissions in a way that benefits local communities and state economies. Additionally, in December, the Massachusetts Commission on the Future of Transportation recommended that Northeast and Mid-Atlantic establish a regional marketbased program to tackle transportation emissions.
“Transportation is a critical issue that impacts our economy, environment, and quality of life,” said Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank. “Massachusetts needs a 21st century transportation system that is equitable, accessible, climate resilient, and clean. I applaud Gov. Baker’s commitment to collaborate with other Northeast governors to identify bold regional policy solutions to make that a reality.”
“John Hancock applauds Gov. Baker and the participating states for their leadership and commitment to reducing transportation emissions in the region,” said Kyle Cahill, Director of Sustainability at John Hancock. “We believe a clean, reliable, and equitable transportation system is critical for the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities.”
Earlier this year, more than 70 influential investors, companies, hospital systems, colleges, and universities called on Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors to take steps to modernize the region’s transportation system and keep the local economy thriving. Convoy Solutions, Diageo North America, JLL, Impax Asset Management, Miller/Howard Investments, Partners Healthcare, Schneider Electric, UMass Lowell, Unilever, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science, and many others, shared a vision for the region’s transportation future that includes increased investments in critical transportation infrastructure, efficient and reliable public transportation, and the electrification of the transportation sector.
“As a leading provider of a range of emission reduction solutions, we know that if we’re going to fix wasteful aspects of the freight sector and address a problem as seemingly intractable as climate change, we need bold action,” said Ethan Garber, CEO of Convoy Solutions. “We applaud these governors for adopting a regional approach to modernize our roads and rails and reduce transportation emissions, all while spurring innovation and strengthening our economy.”
“As a global investor, Impax Asset Management has long understood the business risks that climate change presents, as well as the opportunities that can be found in addressing it,” said Ken Locklin, Director at Impax Asset Management. “We believe that a market-based approach to reduce emissions from the transportation sector will help Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states mitigate these risks, while strengthening the regional economy, promoting innovation, and driving new investment and job creation.”
In 2016, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector surpassed those from the power sector. Regions and states that adopt clean and efficient transportation systems are better positioned to strengthen their economies, spur new job growth, improve public health, and protect the region against volatile fossil fuel prices. The region imports nearly 100 percent of its transportation fuels, sending billions out of our economy annually. Modernizing the transportation system with expanded public transit, infrastructure for active transportation, and electric vehicles would help to reduce fuel consumption and keep that money in the region to be reinvested in the local economy.
“As a boutique asset manager with nearly three decades of ESG investing experience and a robust Shareholder Advocacy program, we look forward to the continuing transition towards a lower-emissions transportation sector that relies on electric vehicles and cleaner-burning LNG,” said Greg Powell, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Miller/Howard Investments. “We applaud these governors for their support of market-based tools to ease the transition to a lowcarbon future.”
“As a community-focused, not-for-profit health plan, we believe in the connection between our health and the environment,” said Monica Nakielski, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “We’re continually adopting innovative, measurable ways to reduce our impact on the planet, support the well-being of our employees and members, and improve public health, so we fully support this important effort. We all stand to benefit from reduced emissions and a cleaner transportation future.”
Among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, New York, Maine, and New Hampshire are notably absent from today’s announcement.
“As a New Hampshire-based manufacturer with facilities in multiple states across the region, Worthen Industries understands the importance of a modern and efficient transportation system,” said David Worthen, CEO of Worthen Industries. “We applaud today’s announcement from many of the region’s governors, and hope that New Hampshire will recognize the great opportunity in working with our neighbors to reduce transportation pollution and investing in the clean transportation system of the future.”