In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Climate Change reached, for the first time ever since the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the objective of keeping global warming below 2°C.
“The Paris Agreement also sends an effective signal on the many thousands of cities, regions, businesses and citizens across the world already devoted to climate action their vision of a low-carbon, resilient future is already the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary in the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming (UNFCCC), the body that convenes the conference.
At the same time, a whole new study through the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis-also released in November 2015-quantified exactly how much increased bike riding delivers in reductions of CO2 emissions as well as utilization of transport, while also reducing the overall cost burden of transport. Termed As A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, the investigation modelled the result of the shift in utilization of electric self-balancing scooter in becoming 22% of transport trips in all of the cities worldwide by 2050.
With this particular shift, the model discovered that CO2 emissions and energy use would be 47% reduced by 2050, and price is reduced with a staggering US$128 trillion. This is compared to continuing within a ‘business as usual’ manner where the private vehicle having an internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These types of results should attract the attention of policy-makers within australia, whose task pursuing the Paris Agreement, is usually to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that will halt and commence to lower emissions causing climate change. These must include actions on transport, which globally accounts for nearly 25% of all carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution in Australia is actually a lesser 16-17%, although not because our company is doing anything directly to curb it-our vehicle emission standards are among the worst in the developed world-but because our coal-fired electricity generators are the dirtiest in the world and our agriculture is heavily reliant on fossil-fuel-derived fertilisers.
Also urging all nations to action on climate change-and focussing all development on a sustainable and socially responsible trajectory-will be the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These new goals, established in September 2015 and guiding development for the upcoming fifteen years, follow on in the Millenium Development Goals of 2000-2015. Whereas the Millenium Development Goals were guidance for developing countries though, this latest round of goals-which were agreed from the UN general assembly process-provide all countries with guidelines and responsibilities to produce all development sustainable and globally just.
Goal 13 listed, for example, is to “Take urgent action to combat climate change as well as its impacts”. The UN expressed optimism about this, saying: “The pace of change is quickening as increasing numbers of individuals are switching to sustainable energy and an array of other measures that can reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.”
In order to combat climate change, Goal 7 exhorts countries and businesses to: “increase substantially the share of renewable energy from the global energy mix”. The prospective set is: “By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate usage of clean energy research and technology, including sustainable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology”.
Just how may be the Australian government conducting the nation in order to meet our international climate commitments?
JanetSenator Janet Rice, Spokesperson on Transport for The Greens along with a former Senior Strategic Transport Planner in local government, told Ride On: “There’s a major gap between those guidelines and what governments are prepared to register to as motherhood statements, and after that to be seriously interested in the implementation of it.”
“Our current government features a woeful reputation in terms of complying with international agreements,” she indicates. “That’s the process for us Greens to become pointing out which we will not be operating consistently together with the things we have been signing up to. The community and society should be calling our governments on that also. Regular reviews [stipulated from the Paris Agreement] is amongst the positive things that has come out of the targets, to ensure that we can keep a record every 5 years of methods our company is going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Global Warming and Water, sustainability is actually a critical aspect of all the work I do. One among my core priorities is determining how better to reduce carbon pollution. Element of Labor’s ten point policy for better cities is investing in active transport solutions which connect on top of public transport in order to help encourage people to adopt up low carbon travel option. Making smart helmet a viable option for commuters is actually a key opportunity to help lessen carbon pollution,?reach our emissions reduction targets and provide positive health impacts.”
The Minister for that Environment, the Liberal party’s Greg Hunt is keeping a good center on cities. “Improving the productivity, liveability and accessibility of Australia’s cities can be a national priority for your Turnbull Government,” he said. “Ensuring access to a selection of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can start to play a significant part in delivering these objectives.”
An area of focus for the current Abbott-Turnbull government is air quality. Minister Hunt in December 2015 released a National Clean Air Agreement struck between the government and also the Australian states. The Environment Minister told Ride On: “The National Clean Air Agreement’s initial work plan includes reducing air pollution from non-road petrol engines such as garden equipment and marine engines, in addition to wood heaters. These sources can contribute approximately 10 percent of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement includes important setting process to assist governments to offer coordinated and practical responses to quality of air problems.
“Cars overall are generally, considerably more of your influence on our air quality than marine engines and wood burners,” she says. “But they are accepted as the baseline: ‘We couldn’t come to be doing much to improve that’. You’re not getting to zero emissions until we have to a fleet of electric cars fuelled on 100% renewably produced electricity and that’s a considerable ways off.”
The Top Shift Cycling study, however, envisages a world where transport is more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits because diversity. Its underlying assumptions are that trips under 10km are cycle-able and over 50 % of all trips are cycle-able by that definition. Across all global cities, the model anticipates a change in the current average of 7% of trips produced by bicycle and ebike to 18% of trips in 2030 and 22% of trips by 2050.
BAU: Business As Always. HS: High Shift(2014). HSC: High Shift Cycling (2015) When it comes to transport, A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario shows that continuing in a ‘business as usual’ manner takes us from the opposite direction to where we need to visit curb CO2 emissions.
The Top Shift Cycling (HSC) study was preceded by way of a High Shift study of 2014, also conducted by the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis. The prior study modelled a shift to your greater proportion of public transport, cycling and walking but was criticised as not ambitious enough about the chance of increase in cycling being a mode share. The Top Shift Cycling study was commissioned with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) as well as the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
Just how can such a shift come to pass, specifically in Australia, where cycling to be effective across our metropolitan cities currently accounts for about 2Percent of trips? The investigation explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are created at the national level as well as in cities worldwide in favour of density, locational efficiency, mixed use, and parking management. Political leaders have strong incentives to select this path, as it results in a dramatic lowering of societal investments and operating as well as costs, and yes it provides improved economic well-being, enhanced social equity and stability, and strong reductions in environmental damage within the current trajectory.
“Since the HSC scenario saves money, spending money on it is not problematic. Cities and countries across the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the potential of rapid increases in cycling, which is clear that this kind of scenario is entirely possible within the given length of time. However, a great deal of political will must 94dexepky course in the BAU [Business as always] to implement an HSC scenario, which is not clear if cities and countries should be able to find such will, especially given the low capacity for too long-term planning in lots of places.”
You can find instances of where it really has been done the research highlights: “Over the long term, it could be feasible for many cities to replicate the achievements cycling in cities including Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam within the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds 40 percent of all trips, and then in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from low levels of cycling after World War II to greater than 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is specially relevant, mainly because it grew cycling mode share from .5 percent to nearly 7 percent of trips in six years (2006-2012), with the amount of cycling trips increasing from five thousand to seventy-2000 per day. Seville achieved this by installing a backbone network of nearly 130 kilometers of protected cycle lanes (cycle tracks) during the entire city and implementing a bicycle share program with 2,500 bicycles and 258 stations in a dense bike share network across the city. Paris, Buenos Aires, and Montreal have experienced similarly rapid increases in cycling through investments in low-stress networks of cycling infrastructure and large-scale bike sharing schemes.”
Senator Janet Rice, an extensive-time advocate of electric assist bike, thinks we should be pushing more cycling to possess a mode be part of Australia even more compared to the HSC overall average of 22 percent. “My rule of thumb for the purpose we ought to be focusing on in Australian cities is certainly one third walking and cycling, one third public transport and one third private car use,” she says. “I believe that’s eminently achievable and would meet all of our transport needs.
“If we did have a mixture of 1 / 3rd walking and cycling, a third public transport powered by renewable power then one third private vehicles powered by renewable power we might arrive. The critical thing to state is ‘This is how we’re heading for’ and set up out of the plan to do it and seriously implement it. It genuinely means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”