Transport contributes to Climate Change because engines burn fuel and therefore produce carbon dioxide. The Department for Transport UK Transport and Climate data factsheet show that in 2006 road transport was responsible for 22% of total UK CO2 emissions with nearly 60% of these transport emissions directly attributable to the passenger car.
There are a number of ways you could reduce your transport carbon footprint including changing the way you use your car, using it less often, using public transport, walking and cycling.
Buses, trains and trams are more efficient, per passenger, than cars. By using public transport you can considerably reduce your personal emissions and also the cost of maintaining your car.
GlobalCool.com contains more information about the benefits of public transport and provides a very useful trip-planning service.
If you would like to compare the emissions associated with using different transport methods when taking a particular journey, you can do this at Transportdirect.
In some towns and cities, it may also be quicker to take public transport. Buses and trains are generally less prone to congestion delays, saving you time and reducing fuel waste.
In some circumstances a car is the only practical option. So if you do need to use one, there are a number of ways you can reduce emissions. These include avoiding hard acceleration and high speeds, choosing a fuel-efficient car and making sure it is serviced regularly. You could also consider car sharing.
If you are intending to buy a new car, think about what you need it for and choose a model that meets your needs most economically. All new cars come with a CO2 rating, measured in grammes per kilometer. As well as indicating its pollution levels, it directly influences the amount of road tax you pay.
If you only need to use a car occasionally, consider hiring a car, using a green taxi company like greentomato cars, or joining a car club. This reduces the number of cars on the road, makes sure you plan only the car journeys you need, and may well save you money. For more information on low-emissions cars and learning how to drive economically, visit the Department of Transport’s ACT ON CO2.
Flying is the most polluting transport method. Short-haul flights are particularly inefficient because a high proportion of a flight’s overall fuel is burned during take-off and landing.
Before booking a flight, consider your other options. For example, travelling from London to Paris by train emits 10kg of CO2 per passenger. Flying emits 10 times as much. For more information on how this is calculated, and to find out why train journeys can be greener than flying, visit ‘Eurostar greener than flying’.
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