Transport contributes about one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions, increasing at well over 2% a year. If this continues it will double transport emissions in less than 30 years.
An individual or family can reduce their transport footprint by implementing these sustainable transport tactics:
Walk or cycle – if you can. Cycling is popular, safe, healthy and enjoyable. When it replaces other forms of transport (e.g. commuting to work) it also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. With the price of fossil fuels on a continuous trend upwards cycling makes financial sense as well.
Public transport is a far more efficient mode of transport than a private vehicle. Benefits to the environment include less emissions and pollution, less energy use and less need to pave land for roading and parking spaces. If public transport isn’t available or convenient, consider car-pooling.
Flying is bad for the environment and a major driver of climate change. The number of flights is forecast to more than double over the next few decades, making the problem worse. Flying is the fastest growing cause of climate change.
We need to reduce the climate changing impacts of cars. To do this will require changes in our behaviour as well as changes in car technology. The first thing is to drive less and own fewer cars overall, the second is to practice fuel efficient driving.
When you need a new car purchase the most fuel efficient model that meets your needs and budget. It’s well worth checking the fuel consumption figures or ratings of the cars you may be thinking of buying. Read more about diesel cars, hybrid cars, electric cars and fuel cell cars.
Biofuels are made from renewable sources or as the byproduct of waste streams. Since biofuels are not ‘clean’, they utilise land that could be used for food crops and for other impacts such as deforestation, soil erosion, water resources there is plenty of debate about the efficacy of biofuels.
Choose the right freight
Not all freight is equal because different transport methods create relatively more greenhouse gases than others. Air freight is much worse than sea freight. Road freight is much worse that rail freight. Choosing and asking for more eco-friendly freight methods will reduce emissions.