Identifying equitable pathways to reach carbon neutrality in California’s transportation sector


Governor Newsom affirmed the State’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 in the 2019 Budget Act. To achieve this goal, the State will need to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while permanently removing carbon from the atmosphere. These efforts will include managing strategic Statewide reductions in fossil fuel demand and supply; electrifying key sectors and end uses; and making significant investments in transitioning the transportation sector and the electrical grid to zero carbon emissions. These shifts will need to take place alongside targeted investments in communities and in the State’s workforce to ensure that this transition maximizes equity, resiliency, health, and environmental quality across the State. 

The transportation sector is an especially important priority for the State. When including fossil fuel extraction and refining, the transportation sector accounts for half of California’s GHG emissions. Through the 2019 Budget Act, the Newsom Administration funded two studies to identify strategies to reduce the demand for and supply of fossil fuels, with the goal of dramatically reducing GHG emissions across the transportation sector. In a collaboration between emLab’s Climate and Energy program, UCSB’s Earth Science Department, and the Clean Energy Transformation Lab, we have conducted the second of the two studies which focuses on the supply-side of the transportation sector.


We have developed a model to evaluate the implications of long-term transportation-specific carbon neutrality policy scenarios. Our team has combined state-of-the-art economic analyses and energy modeling with an in-depth understanding of climate science and public health. We have modeled oil and gas activity associated with policy options and quantify the community-level changes on labor markets and health risks associated with local pollution. Our study specifically focuses on the supply-side of the transportation sector and the team worked in tandem with a demand-side study conducted by the UC Institute of Transportation Studies to aid state officials in identifying carbon neutrality pathways.


This project is a collaboration between UCSB (the Environmental Market Solutions Lab’s Climate and Energy program, Earth Science Department, and Clean Energy Transformation Lab), California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Institute of Transportation Studies, Regents of the University of California.

Reports & Publications

Enhancing equity while eliminating emissions in California’s supply of transportation fuels
This supply-side study focuses on managing a strategic, responsible decline in transportation-related fossil fuel supply and projects how statewide policies focused on extraction and refining will impact state- and local-level greenhouse gas emissions, equity, health and labor markets.

Joint Summary: UC ITS and UCSB studies suggest how California can finally decarbonize its transportation sector
Summary of the main takeaways from the two Carbon Neutrality studies (Study 1 and Study 2) that, together, identify strategies to reduce California’s fossil fuel supply in parallel demand, with the goal of dramatically reducing emissions across the state’s transportation sector. 

Carbon Neutrality and California’s Transportation Fossil Fuel Supply
Synthesis Report that details the current trends and characteristics of California’s transportation-related fossil fuel extraction and refining, and associated greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and workforce, with a focus on equity considerations.