Climate Change and the Transportation Sector
The transportation sector of the economy is the leading source of climate-disrupting greenhouse gases, followed closely by the energy sector.
Some hazardous impacts of global warming such as intensified periods of drought with associated wildfires are already being felt by southwestern communities. These periods of drought and wildfires are projected to increase in risk over the next twenty years.
Our region is also experiencing more irregular periods of intense rainfall with associated flood risks. Extremes of heat concentrated in urban environments, or the “urban heat island effect”, is another intensifying threat to public health and safety.
See the Climate Change Hazards Vulnerability Assessment Tool for visualizations of data layers indicating locations in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area which are most at risk of exposure to extreme heat, wildfires, and flooding hazards. The tool also includes Census tract-level demographic indicators of where populations of concern for health vulnerability and environmental justice considerations are residentially concentrated within those areas of heightened risk to assist in the prioritization of emergency preparedness and hazard mitigation interventions.
Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crises at Home and Abroad
In 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008, which among things created the Justice40 Initiative with the aim of delivering to disadvantaged communities 40 percent of the overall benefits of new investments in the areas of clean energy and energy efficiency; clean transit; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; the remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and the development of critical clean water infrastructure. On August 18, 2022 the White House announced DOT’s official Justice40 covered programs list. Please visit the links on the USDOT Justice40 site to learn more about each program.
In subsequently published implementation guidance, an interim definition of “disadvantaged communities” was provided, which informed the USDOT’s creation of a map to assist applicants in identifying whether a project is located in a disadvantaged community. Consistent with OMB’s Interim Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative, USDOT’s interim definition includes (a) certain qualifying census tracts, (b) any Tribal land, or (c) any territory or possession of the United States. The USDOT is using this interim definition to ask applicants to Justice40-covered programs to identify how their projects benefit disadvantaged communities.
This MRCOG Planning for Equity Communities Viewer presents the qualifying tracts of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area.