In its technical summary the latest IPCC report on climate change mitigation makes these observations regarding the transportation sector:
- Meeting climate mitigation goals would require transformative changes in the transport sector. In 2019, direct GHG emissions from the transport sector were 8.7 GtCO2-eq (up from 5.0 GtCO2-eq in 1990) and accounted for 23% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
70% of direct transport emissions came from road vehicles
1% came from rail
11%, from shipping
12% from aviation
(Emissions from shipping and aviation continue to grow rapidly.)
- There is a growing need for systemic infrastructure changes that enable behavioural modifications and reductions in demand for transport services that can in turn reduce energy demand. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has also shown that behavioural interventions can reduce transport-related GHG emissions. For example, COVID-19-based lockdowns have confirmed the transformative value of telecommuting replacing significant numbers of work and personal journeys as well as promoting local active transport. There are growing opportunities to implement strategies that drive behavioural change and support the adoption of new transport technology options.
We have proven, after a 2-year experiment, that we can successfully remove millions of fossil fuel powered commutes from the system and still function as businesses.
Besides emissions, there is another extremely important reason to end commutes and that is the impact on air quality.
Commutes not only have a direct impact on the mental and physical health of the people sitting in traffic but also on everyone living in cities.
Did you know that tail pipe emissions are also a major source of airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that is a big contributor to the global burden of mortality and disease? Recent research shows that excess deaths from PM2.5 is estimated at 10.2 million individuals, many children, every year!
During the covid lockdowns satellite imagery showed the dramatic decrease of air pollutants over cities when the traffic stopped!
We have the technology and the know how to immediately impact the health of millions and decrease carbon emissions.