Educational Materials Linking Climate Change and Transportation

Focus Area

Climate Change


Air Quality, Environmental Process







Research Idea Scope

Among both the public and many elected leaders there is an insufficient understanding of climate change as well as a lack of understanding of the relationship between climate change issues and transportation.  There is also a lack of understanding about consumer awareness of the link between contributors to climate change and transportation and about what motivates and affects “socially responsible” behavior.  In addition, it is not clear what key decision factors elected leaders at the local and regional levels use to make policy decisions related to climate change and transportation.
Thus there is a need for a better understanding of consumer awareness and motivation and of the factors used in decision making regarding climate change and transportation  and consequently for developing effective messages and educational materials  which can be used to reach out to those audiences. 
This project will determine the actual state of awareness of the general public and local and regional decision makers about the link between transportation and climate change based on existing research and discussions with major transportation and climate change stakeholders. It will identify the key factors (age, income, education, geography, etc.) that could allow development of targeted information to more fully inform the public.
The project will investigate what messages and educational materials would be effective in educating the public and elected officials about the relationship between climate change and transportation.  Subsequently, educational programs and materials will be developed focusing on the benefits, costs, and consequences with the aim of creating more informed voters, politicians, and transportation users and consumers.
The educational programs and materials developed will provide detail at appropriately varying levels of complexity based on the various audiences involved in contributing to climate change or addressing related policy decisions.
Urgency/PriorityThis research is urgent since policy decisions are being made now regarding climate change and transportation, and they should be made based on a stronger understanding of the issues, benefits, and costs.

Urgency and Payoff

The communication and educational materials developed through this research could be provided to the various organizations of the user community to reach the largest audience.
EffectivenessThe societal impacts of this research would be improved policies regarding climate change and transportation.  Early relevant measures of effectiveness would be the quantity and quality of legislation at federal, local, and regional levels that specifically addresses climate change as it relates to transportation

Suggested By

RNS. Sponsoring Committee: A0020T, Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy Source Info: Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy January 2010 Workshop