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Decarbonizing City Transports: Is It Possible?

Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and cities around the world are grappling with the challenge of decarbonizing their transportation systems. Decarbonization involves reducing or eliminating the carbon emissions that result from transportation. In this blog post, we will explore whether it is possible to decarbonize city transports and what steps cities can take to achieve this goal.

THE CHALLENGE OF DECARBONIZING CITY TRANSPORTS

Transport CO2 emissions by mode bar chart
Transport accounts for nearly a fifth of CO2 emissions

Decarbonizing city transports is a complex challenge, as it involves changing not just the vehicles that are used but also the infrastructure and policies that support them. In many cities, transportation systems are designed around the use of cars, which can make it difficult to shift to more sustainable modes of transportation such as public transit, cycling, and walking.

Moreover, cities often have limited budgets to invest in new infrastructure or vehicles. It can be challenging to balance the cost of new technologies and infrastructure with the need to provide affordable and accessible transportation options for all residents.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR DECARBONIZING CITY TRANSPORTS

Despite the challenges, there are several possible solutions for decarbonizing city transports. One of the most effective approaches is to promote the use of public transit, cycling, and walking. These modes of transportation are more sustainable than cars and can be made more accessible through infrastructure improvements such as bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly streets, and well-connected public transit networks.

train decarbonizing through public transport

Switching from cars to public transport can reduce up to 2.2 tons of carbon emissions annually per individual while carpooling can result in up to a 1.0 tons carbon reduction. Moreover, doing away with you car can reduce your annual carbon footprint by up to 3.6 tons!

Another solution is to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and other low-emission vehicles. Many cities around the world are investing in electric buses and taxis, which can help reduce emissions and improve air quality. In addition, some cities are implementing policies such as low-emission zones, which restrict access to high-emission vehicles in certain areas.

“In Europe, Accenture research suggests that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will account for ~16 percent of new-car sales by 2025. By 2030, this could rise to almost 50 percent. Globally, the proportion of BEV sales is set to grow from 12 to 25 percent over the same timeframe.”

Accenture

Finally, cities can also invest in alternative forms of transportation such as shared mobility services, including car-sharing and ride-sharing services. These services can reduce the number of cars on the road, which can lead to a reduction in emissions and congestion.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, decarbonizing city transports is a complex challenge, but it is possible. Cities can take steps to promote the use of sustainable modes of transportation, such as public transit, cycling, and walking, and invest in electric and low-emission vehicles. In addition, cities can implement policies and infrastructure improvements that support sustainable transportation options. By taking these steps, cities can reduce their carbon footprint and improve the quality of life for residents.

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