Essays in Environmental, Climate, and Public Health Impacts of Freight Transportation
The freight transportation sector is a growing contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and successful emissions mitigation requires studying its impacts in different contexts. However, an evaluation of different decarbonizing strategies across nations is missing in the literature. This dissertation consists of two methodologically distinct but related studies looking at the environmental, climate, and public health impacts of freight transportation.
In the second chapter, I look at these impacts in the context of ocean shipping in India and explore the emissions reduction potential of shore power in India. However, given how dirty and emissions-intensive India’s electricity generation currently is, I show that shore power is not a cost-effective strategy to reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions in India.
In the third chapter, I evaluate freight trucking pollution impacts across the contiguous United States and the implications of trucking pollution on minority group populations. Based on my analysis, I find that the environmental and climate social costs due to freight trucking in the US result in ~$17B in environmental damages and ~$25B in climate damages, respectively. Further, more trucking pollution occurs in counties and census tracts with a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic populations.
In a final chapter, I conclude with further discussion of the findings of this work, explain how they are broadly valuable for policymakers, some more general conclusions.
- Engineering and Public Policy
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)