Transport produces 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually, or 23 percent of energy-related emissions, which is around 14 percent of all emissions. In individual countries, transport can account for much higher shares, even 35 percent of all emissions. Growth rates in emissions for some subsectors like air transport and international shipping are very high, so the Transport Sector requires special focus to keep emissions from ballooning out of control, as some projections indicate.
As a first step I have generated a list of the most relevant go-to options we have. For now I will strictly focus on The Netherlands. As a general guidance I will use the book 'Drawdown - The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to roll back global warming' by Paul Hawken.
Together with experts in the field I am going to challenge this list. It is therefore an ongoing framework. You will find all the updates below, specified for each specific solution we can opt for.
Drawdown: 'A century after the first commercial flight, the aviation industry has become a fixture of global transport…and of global emissions. Today, some 20,000 airplanes are in service around the world, producing at minimum 2.5 percent of annual emissions.'
Drawdown: 'More than 80 percent of global trade, by volume, floats its way from place to place. 90,000 commercial vessels—tankers, bulk dry carriers, and container ships—make the movement of goods possible, transporting more than 10 billion tons of cargo in 2015.
Shipping produces 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Forecasts predict they could be 50 percent to 250 percent higher in 2050. Because of huge shipping volumes, increasing shipping efficiency can have a sizable impact.'
Drawdown: 'The impact of trucks on greenhouse gas emissions is oversized. Comprising just over 4 percent of vehicles in the United States and 9 percent of total mileage, they consume more than 25 percent of fuel—50 billion gallons of diesel each year. Worldwide, road freight is responsible for about 6 percent of all emissions, and growing.
Based on 2010 U.S. prices, investing in these modernizations for a new truck can cost around $30,000, but save almost that much in fuel costs per year. Because tractor-trailers remain on the road for many years, addressing the efficiency of existing fleets is critical.'
Drawdown: 'Worldwide, some 83 million cars rolled off the assembly line in 2013. Of those new cars, 1.3 million contained an electric motor and battery, as well as an internal combustion engine—hybrid cars hardwired for better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, merge strengths. Gasoline- or diesel-powered engines excel at sustaining high speeds (highway driving) but have a harder time overcoming inertia to get moving (city driving). Electric motors are uniquely efficient at low speeds and going from stop to start.'
05. Electric Vehicles
Drawdown: 'There are now more than 1 million Electric Vehicles ('EVs') on the road, and the difference in impact is remarkable. Compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, emissions drop by 50 percent if an EV’s power comes off the conventional grid. If powered by solar energy, carbon dioxide emissions fall by 95 percent.
The “fuel” for electric cars is cheaper too. EVs will disrupt auto and oil business models because they are simpler to make, have fewer moving parts, and require little maintenance and no fossil fuels. The rate of innovation in EVs guarantees they are the cars of the future. The question is how soon the future will arrive.'
06. Electric Bikes
Drawdown: 'Electric bikes are the most environmentally sound means of motorized transport in the world today. They come in many shapes and forms and are accompanied by a small battery-powered motor that can make hills manageable, journeys swifter, and longer trips more viable. As they grow more effective and affordable, e-bikes are increasingly drawing people out of more polluting modes of transportation, such as driving solo.'
Drawdown: 'When trips are pooled, people split costs, ease traffic, and lighten the load on infrastructure, while curtailing emissions per person. Getting people to double or triple up in their cars is not always easy. When fuel is cheap, carpooling declines. An abundance of free or cheap parking also steers people to journey solo. So does the desire for autonomy, privacy, and expedience.
For many, cars have seemed indispensable to day-to-day life. But, increasingly, mobility is seen as a service to access. When cars are used collaboratively, you can catch a glimpse of the future—one with fewer cars overall.'