Transport Industry is ‘World’s Fastest Growing Emissions’ Culprit

Transport green house gas emissions are the world’s fastest growing source and have already returned to pre-pandemic levels.

That’s the claim of a study by Kapsch TrafficCom which says the industry generates around 28% of total global emissions with 59% coming from passenger vehicles and light trucks. While many other sectors already reduce their emissions year after year, transport is going the other way threatening to undermine Paris Agreement targets its Mobility Report 2021 claims.

On top of the rebound of vehicle miles traveled, the study highlights that many people are less willing to use public transport than previously, because of the infection risk, putting even greater demand on road networks and increasing car use. The report says the average gasoline-powered car emits 8,887g of CO2 per gallon of fuel and a total of 4.6 metric tons of CO2 every year.

It calls for traffic management systems similar to that seen in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The city developed a strategic plan in 2017, shifting from reactive to proactive-collaborative traffic management. Its integrated mobility management system Sistema de Gestión Integral de la Movilidad (SGIM) allows the city to manage data from multiple sources to generate and spread high-quality information. The SGIM software works as an umbrella platform that can interface and sit on top of the current structure for a more unified platform, including Google Maps and Waze information, toll operators and other third-party systems.

Alfredo Escriba, CTO of Kapsch TrafficCom, said: “Short term solutions are urgently needed to curb emissions from millions of vehicles on the world’s road networks. Urban traffic and congestion management provide an immediate impact helping to reduce CO2 emissions. Reducing stop-and-go-traffic by communicating traffic signal information to drivers alone has been shown to reduce fuel consumption and therefore emissions according to a recent study from Canada. More advanced methods, involving vehicle connectivity and AI-based data processing, can further reduce emissions caused by congestion and inefficient traffic.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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