Transportation and Climate Change

 

Transportation and Climate Change

The 2007 IPCC Mitigation Report contains an authoritative treatment in Chapter 5: Transport and its infrastructure.

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Sustainable Transportation

Summary:  Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles. Transport systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are increasing at a faster rate than any other energy using sector. 

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Infrastructure: Pavement and Roadways

  • Cement

The cement industry is one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide - see HERE, creating up to 5% of worldwide man-made emissions of this gas. Several approaches to reducing emissions have been suggested.

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Green Vehicles

Summary:  A green vehicle or environmentally friendly vehicle is a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses alternative fuelsGreen vehicles include hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, compressed-air vehicles, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, neat ethanol vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, clean diesel vehicles, and some sources also include vehicles using blends of biodiesel and ethanol fuel or gasohol.

 

 

 

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Trains

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Mass Transit

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Note: Some reference summaries and photos above are from Wikipedia.

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 Transport - UN CSD 19

Transport is a theme of the United Nations 19th Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) . HERE is the link to these resources:

Here is the link to Transport section of a Discussion Paper submitted by the Scientific and Technological Community in 2010:


35. Transportation technologies are progressing on many fronts towards lower emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, including in the following areas: cars powered by hybrid engines, electricity and fuel cells; buses and commercial vehicles powered by compressed natural gas; the use of alternative fuels derived from various biomass sources; and continued improvements in the fuel efficiency and emissions of standard gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. These various technological innovations are all gaining commercial success at differing rates. Their continued market penetration needs to be encouraged through appropriate economic incentive programmes and ongoing research, development and deployment efforts. Even with the aggressive implementation of cleaner vehicle technologies, there remains a strong need to reduce demand for transport by personal vehicle and the long-distance road transport of goods.

36. Not only does transport require its own infrastructure, but a transportation system also shapes the infrastructure that it surrounds and passes through. Seeking energy sustainability through shorter travel distances may lead to an urban landscape of closer-knit residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

37.    Actions for promoting cleaner fuels and vehicles must be complemented by policies to reduce the overall demand for the use of personal vehicles by furthering public transport, although modifying unsustainable patterns of transportation energy consumption will require cultural and behavioural adjustments. The current global economic crisis has created a framework favourable to implementing such adjustments in many key countries.

38.    Currently, many Governments are developing policies that foresee:
Diversification of mobility means; Emphasis on public transport in urban zones; Low-fuel-consumption vehicles, for example, hybrid and electrical cars; Management of public space in cities with new modes for car usage.

39.    One success story in numerous developed countries is the new type of mobility services, like the free use or low-cost rental of bicycles, multi-user taxi-sharing and car-sharing, now employed in several cities. Another partial success story is the downsizing of car dimensions, weight, speed performance and engine-cylinder volume in order to achieve low fuel consumption.

40. There is opportunity for using the Internet for the precise transfer of transportation information, such as location, safety and scheduling. Within a city or between cities, information and communications technologies allow for “intelligent transport systems” with high efficiency and safety. This can lead to faster travel with less stopping and starting. Governments should encourage all stakeholders to build and maintain national information infrastructure and create information resources to make information and communications technology tools available to all people, urban and rural, for learning and working.

41.    Some success has been demonstrated in the abatement of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in cars. A priority area of research and development should be the development of hybrid electric-gasoline cars with regenerative braking systems, as well as electrical vehicles. Similarly, investment in research and development aimed at the development of convenient, economic and safe ways of storing hydrogen onboard motor vehicles (e.g., carbon nanofibres) must be stepped up significantly. Making automobiles lighter by using new materials, such as aramid fibre, can reduce vehicle weight and, with it, fuel consumption.

42.    Investment in engineering opens up numerous ways of making transport more sustainable. A report from Japan notes the presence of more than 500 million cars on the road worldwide. Losses resulting from friction and heat account for two thirds of their fuel consumption. If the annual fuel consumption of these cars could be cut by 10 per cent by reducing friction, it is estimated that the conserved energy would provide electric power for all households in Japan for a year or more.

43.    Programmes for producing ethanol and biodiesel are already in place, based on different crops (e.g., cassava, castor beans, cotton seeds, jatropha, palm oil, soybeans, sunflowers and sweet potatoes). Biomass production for fuels requires land resources and, in many parts of the world, may have to compete with food production. Moreover, the water footprint of biofuels is a challenge that should not be ignored. Some tropical countries have large tracts of degraded lands that could benefit from the establishment of bioenergy plantations. Planting arid, semi-arid, degraded and marginal lands that are unsuitable for food production with non-edible biofuel crops would not compete directly with current food production and could help rehabilitate the soil. For large agricultural areas, scientific, engineering, social, economic and sustainability analyses should be conducted, on a case-by-case basis, on the comparative advantage of planting food or biofuel crops, especially in the face of the ongoing global food crisis.

44. A shift towards cellulose-based second-generation biofuels using wood and grassy crops would offer greater reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and less land used per unit of energy, although technical breakthroughs would be required to achieve this.

45. Increasingly, high-speed rail is emerging as an alternative to short-haul air transport, and urban areas are turning to new modes of light-rail transit. Sustainability would be enhanced by shifting the movement of goods to rail as an alternative to road transport.

46.    The door is swinging open for innovation and improvement not only in land transportation but also in aviation and maritime transport through changes to aircraft and vessels that enhance engine performance and reduce friction. Further benefits may accrue from powering vessels with methane fuel, improving the use of waste heat from propulsion machinery, utilizing new sail technology or applying new types of paint to hulls. Adjustment to route patterns may also bring about fuel savings.

 

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