Uber’s Urban Growth Results in CO2 Emissions Rise

The rise of Uber in city centres correlates with a rise in CO2, research has found.

Transport and Environment found that Uber’s arrival in London, in 2012, led to a 25% rise in taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) trips. In the same period, there has also been a 23% rise in CO2 emissions from the taxi and PHV sector in London. Earlier this week, Uber had its license to operate in London withdrawn by Transport for London, over fears for rider safety.

Likewise, in Paris, Uber’s launch in the French capital led to a surge of registrations for private hire vehicles. The research found that in Paris, Uber vehicles emitted an estimated 198416 tons of CO2 in 2018, while in London, that figure is 369274 tons of CO2. With an extra 11023 tons from Brussels, the amount of CO2 emitted from the three major European capital cities is 567690 tons – the equivalent of an extra 250,000 privately-owned vehicles on the road.

The research group says that the CO2 emissions may be down to most Uber vehicles being either gasoline or diesel-powered cars. In 2017, 90% of Paris’s private hire vehicles, including Uber, were diesel-powered, according to data from the French government. The figure is thought to be similar in other European cities. There are now calls for Uber to ‘go green’ in cities and urban centres by 2025, only allowing drivers who use electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the service.

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