Driving the Wrong Way: Transportation Emissions and Climate Change

Elkind: Driving the Wrong Way: Transportation Emissions and Climate Change

February 21, 2020

Ethan ElkindUC Berkeley/UCLA Center for Law, Energy & the Environment Climate Program Director Ethan Elkind presented Driving the Wrong Way: Transportation Emissions and Climate Change at the ITS Berkeley Transportation Seminar Feb. 21, 2020.


California is making progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions overall, but the state's 2030 climate goals are threatened by rising emissions from the transportation sector. This sector, primarily consisting of passenger vehicles, is now responsible for almost half of the state's carbon footprint, when factoring in oil refinery emissions. This talk will discuss the tools the state has to reduce driving miles and convert vehicles to zero-emission technology. It will also reflect on the policy headwinds from the Trump Administration that threaten progress, as well as the near-term law and policy opportunities.


Ethan Elkind is the Director of the Climate Program at CLEE and leads the Climate Change and Business Research Initiative on behalf of the UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law. He taught at the UCLA law school’s Frank Wells Environmental Law Clinic and served as an environmental law research fellow. He has a background in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), climate change law, environmental justice, and other environmental law topics. In 2005, he co-founded The Nakwatsvewat Institute, Inc., a Native American nonprofit organization that provides alternative dispute resolution services and support for tribal governance, justice and educational institutions. His book on the history of the modern Los Angeles Metro Rail system was published by University of California Press in January 2014. Ethan is also a regular host of the weekly call-in radio show “City Visions” on the San Francisco NPR affiliate KALW 91.7 FM, airing Monday nights at 7pm. B.A. Brown University, 1998 J.D. UCLA, 2006 UCLA Law faculty since 2006.