In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Climate Change reached, the first time since the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping climate change below 2°C.
“The Paris Agreement also sends a strong signal towards the many thousands of cities, regions, businesses and citizens around the world already focused on climate action that their vision of your low-carbon, resilient future has become the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming (UNFCCC), your body that convenes the conference.
As well, a brand new study by the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis-also released in November 2015-quantified how much increased bike riding delivers in reductions of CO2 emissions and energy consumption of transport, while also reducing the total cost burden of transport. Called A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, the study modelled the outcome of your shift in usage of electric self-balancing scooter to get 22% of transport trips in all of the cities worldwide by 2050.
With this particular shift, the model learned that CO2 emissions and energy use will be 47% reduced by 2050, and expense is reduced with a staggering US$128 trillion. This is compared to continuing inside a ‘business as usual’ manner the location where the private automobile with the internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These kinds of results should attract the attention of policy-makers around australia, whose task using the Paris Agreement, is to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that can halt and begin to decrease emissions causing climatic change. These must include actions on transport, which globally accounts for nearly 25% of carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution in Australia is a lesser 16-17%, but not because we are doing anything right to curb it-our vehicle emission standards are one of the worst inside the developed world-but because our coal-fired electricity generators will be the dirtiest on earth and our agriculture is heavily reliant on fossil-fuel-derived fertilisers.
Also urging all nations to action on climate change-and focussing all development with 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 10 years, follow on from the Millenium Development Goals of 2000-2015. Whereas the Millenium Development Goals were guidance for developing countries though, this latest round of goals-that have been agreed throughout the UN general assembly process-provide all countries with guidelines and responsibilities to help make all development sustainable and globally just.
Goal 13 listed, for example, is always to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”. The UN expressed optimism regarding this, saying: “The pace of change is quickening as increasing numbers of individuals are turning to renewable power and an array of other measures which will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.”
So that you can combat global warming, Goal 7 exhorts countries and businesses to: “increase substantially the share of renewable power from the global energy mix”. The marked set is: “By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate use of clean energy research and technology, including alternative energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology”.
Now how may be the Australian government conducting the land in order to meet our international climate commitments?
JanetSenator Janet Rice, Spokesperson on Transport to the Greens as well as a former Senior Strategic Transport Planner in local government, told Ride On: “There’s a major gap between those guidelines and what governments are able to sign-up to as motherhood statements, and then to become seriously interested in the implementation of it.”
“Our current government carries a woeful track record with regards to complying with international agreements,” she points out. “That’s the challenge for us Greens to become pointing out that we are certainly not operating consistently with the things we have been signing up to. The city and society need to be calling our governments out on that also. Regular reviews [stipulated from the Paris Agreement] is among the positive things which has come out of the targets, in order that we can keep a record every 5 years of methods we are going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Global Warming and Water, sustainability is really a critical aspect of all work I really do. One of my core priorities is determining how wise to reduce carbon pollution. Component of Labor’s ten point plan for better cities is buying active transport solutions which connect up with public transport so that you can help persuade folks to adopt up low carbon travel option. Making smart helmet a viable selection for commuters is really a key opportunity to help lessen carbon pollution,?reach our emissions reduction targets and offer positive health impacts.”
The Minister for your Environment, the Liberal party’s Greg Hunt is keeping a strict focus on cities. “Improving the productivity, liveability and accessibility of Australia’s cities can be a national priority for your Turnbull Government,” he stated. “Ensuring use of a selection of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can play an essential part in delivering these objectives.”
An area of focus for that current Abbott-Turnbull government continues to be air quality. Minister Hunt in December 2015 released a National Clean Air Agreement struck between the federal government along with 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 for example garden equipment and marine engines, along with wood heaters. These sources can contribute around 10 % of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement also includes a high priority setting process to help governments to supply coordinated and practical responses to quality of air problems.
“Cars overall are generally, far more of any influence on our air quality than marine engines and wood burners,” she says. “But they may be accepted since the baseline: ‘We couldn’t possibly be doing much to alter that’. You’re not going to get to zero emissions until we have to your number of electric cars fuelled on 100% renewably produced electricity and that’s very far off.”
The High Shift Cycling study, however, envisages a world where transport is far more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits in this diversity. Its underlying assumptions are that trips below 10km are cycle-able and more than one half of all trips are cycle-able by that definition. Across all global cities, the model anticipates a big difference from your current average of 7% of trips created 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 Worldwide High Shift Cycling Scenario reveals that continuing in the ‘business as usual’ manner has taken us from the opposite direction to where we have to visit curb CO2 emissions.
The Top Shift Cycling (HSC) study was preceded with 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 potential of surge in cycling as a mode share. The High Shift Cycling study was commissioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) along with the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
Now how can this sort of shift come to pass, particularly in Australia, where cycling to function across our metropolitan cities currently accounts for about 2% of trips? The investigation explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are produced in the national level as well as in cities all over the world in favour of density, locational efficiency, mixed use, and parking management. Political leaders have strong incentives to decide on this path, because it results in a dramatic decline in societal investments and operating and energy costs, and it provides improved economic well-being, enhanced social equity and stability, and robust reductions in environmental damage within the current trajectory.
“Since the HSC scenario saves money, spending money on it is not problematic. Cities and countries throughout the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the opportunity of rapid increases in cycling, and is particularly clear that this type of scenario is possible from the given time frame. However, a lot 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 will be able to find such will, especially considering the low capacity for long-term planning in several places.”
You will find samples of where it has been done the investigation highlights: “Over the long term, it may be entirely possible that many cities to replicate the achievements cycling in cities like Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds 40 % of most trips, and then in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from lower levels of cycling after World War II to over 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is extremely relevant, since 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 every day. Seville achieved this by installing a backbone network of nearly 130 kilometers of protected cycle lanes (cycle tracks) throughout the city and implementing a bicycle share program with 2,500 bicycles and 258 stations in the dense bike share network throughout the city. Paris, Buenos Aires, and Montreal have experienced similarly rapid increases in cycling through investments in low-stress networks of cycling infrastructure and enormous-scale bike sharing schemes.”
Senator Janet Rice, an extended-time advocate of electric assist bike, thinks we ought to be pushing more cycling to have a mode share in Australia even greater in comparison to the HSC overall average of 22 %. “My guideline for what we ought to be aiming for in Australian cities is certainly one third walking and cycling, a third public transport and another third private car use,” she says. “I believe that’s eminently achievable and would meet all our transport needs.
“If we did have a mix of 1 / 3rd walking and cycling, 1 / 3rd public transport powered by renewable energy and one third private vehicles powered by alternative energy we might arrive there. The critical thing to say is ‘This is when we’re heading for’ and set up out the plan to get it done and seriously implement it. It really means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”