- Category: Green Transportation
24 Feb 2011
- Published on Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:45
- Hits (500)
By Katrice R. Jalbuena
Advanced vehicle technology and alternative fuels are not going to be enough to reach global emission reduction goals, said a Swedish transport researcher.
According to Jonas Åkerman, a researcher at the Department of Environmental Strategies Research of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, it will still be necessary to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
”According to the scenario I’ve worked with, car travel per person must decrease by 30 percent by the year 2050,” said Mr. Åkerman.
This decrease is necessary for total emissions to fall by 80-90 percent in line with Sweden and the European Union’s agreed target of limiting global warming by two degrees.
According to Mr. Åkerman, replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric cars or even biofuel-powered cars would not provide a complete solution to road traffic emissions.
A problem with electric vehicles would be if the power used to charge them still came from coal-fired power production. In addition, the manufacture of automobiles also involves significant emissions of carbon dioxide. These factors would still result in a lot of indirect emissions from increased vehicle use.
Mr. Åkerman’s scenarios also show that, at the rate the air traffic industry is expanding, air traffic will surpass car traffic in 10 years. To counteract the emissions this rapid growth could bring on, aviation’s exception from value added tax and carbon dioxide should be removed.
The diversity of vehicles will be important to achieve climate benefits. Mr. Åkerman also recommended that alternative methods of travelling be explored such as the prioritization of bicycle transportation, public transportation and – to lessen air travel – the development of IT -based video conferencing systems.
The study also encourages the development of vehicle pools using low-emission vehicles to get groups of people where they need to be. Mr. Åkerman cited the example of the carpool Mobility in Switzerland, with over 90,000 users, as a way this program could be implemented.