In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Climate Change reached, for 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 climatic change below 2°C.
“The Paris Agreement also sends a powerful signal on the many a huge number of cities, regions, businesses and citizens across the world already focused on climate action that the vision of your low-carbon, resilient future is currently the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming (UNFCCC), the body that convenes the conference.
Concurrently, a whole new study by the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis-also released in November 2015-quantified simply how much increased bike riding delivers in reductions of CO2 emissions as well as consumption of transport, while reducing the total cost burden of transport. Called A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, the study modelled the result of a shift in use of electric self-balancing scooter to get 22% of all the transport trips in most cities worldwide by 2050.
Using this type of shift, the model learned that CO2 emissions as well as use would be 47% reduced by 2050, and price is reduced with a staggering US$128 trillion. This really is in comparison with continuing inside a ‘business as usual’ manner where the private motor vehicle having an internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These types of results should attract the attention of policy-makers in Australia, whose task following the Paris Agreement, would be to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that may halt and begin to decrease emissions causing global warming. These must include actions on transport, which globally makes up about nearly 25% of all carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution around australia is really a lesser 16-17%, but not because we have been doing anything straight to curb it-our vehicle emission standards are one of the worst in the developed world-but because our coal-fired electricity generators would be the dirtiest worldwide and our agriculture is heavily dependent on fossil-fuel-derived fertilisers.
Also urging all nations to action on climatic change-and focussing all development with a sustainable and socially responsible trajectory-would be the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These new goals, established in September 2015 and guiding development for the next 15 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-which were agreed with the UN general assembly process-provide all countries with guidelines and responsibilities to create all development sustainable and globally just.
Goal 13 listed, for instance, is always to “Take urgent action to combat global warming 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 energy and a variety of other measures that 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 alternative energy in the global energy mix”. The prospective 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”.
Just how is the Australian government conducting the country so that you can 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 willing to sign-up to as motherhood statements, and after that to get serious about the implementation from it.”
“Our current government includes a woeful history with regards to complying with international agreements,” she indicates. “That’s the process for us Greens to be pointing out that people usually are not operating consistently using the things our company is joining. The community and society have to be calling our governments out on that also. Regular reviews [stipulated through the Paris Agreement] is among the positive things containing emerge from the targets, to ensure we can easily keep track every five-years of how our company is going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, sustainability is actually a critical aspect of the work I actually do. One of my core priorities is determining how better to reduce carbon pollution. Element of Labor’s ten point policy for better cities is purchasing active transport solutions which connect track of public transport in order to help encourage people to take up low carbon travel option. Making smart helmet a viable choice for commuters is a key opportunity to help lessen carbon pollution,?reach our emissions reduction targets and give positive health impacts.”
The Minister for your Environment, the Liberal party’s Greg Hunt is keeping a strict concentrate on cities. “Improving the productivity, liveability and accessibility of Australia’s cities is a national priority for the Turnbull Government,” he stated. “Ensuring entry to a selection of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can enjoy a crucial part in delivering these objectives.”
A region of focus for the current Abbott-Turnbull government is quality of air. Minister Hunt in December 2015 released a National Clean Air Agreement struck between the federal government as well as the Australian states. Environmental Surroundings Minister told Ride On: “The National Clean Air Agreement’s initial work plan includes reducing air pollution from non-road petrol engines like garden equipment and marine engines, in addition to wood heaters. These sources can contribute up to 10 per cent of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement comes with a high priority setting process to help you governments to offer coordinated and practical responses to quality of air problems.
“Cars overall are generally, a lot more of your affect on our air quality than marine engines and wood burners,” she says. “But they are accepted since the baseline: ‘We couldn’t often be doing much to alter that’. You’re not getting to zero emissions until we get to a number of electric cars fuelled on 100% renewably produced electricity and that’s quite a distance off.”
The High Shift Cycling study, however, envisages a world where transport is a lot more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits because 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 change in the current average of 7% of trips made 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) In terms of transport, A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario implies that continuing within a ‘business as usual’ manner is taking us in the opposite direction to where we need to go to curb CO2 emissions.
The Top Shift Cycling (HSC) study was preceded from a High Shift study of 2014, also conducted with the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis. The prior study modelled a shift to some greater proportion of public transport, cycling and walking but was criticised as not ambitious enough about the potential of boost in cycling like a mode share. The High Shift Cycling study was commissioned from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) along with the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
So, just how can such a shift come about, especially in Australia, where cycling to operate across our metropolitan cities currently makes up about about 2Per cent of trips? The research explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are produced in the national level and then in cities around the globe in favour of density, locational efficiency, mixed use, and parking management. Political leaders have strong incentives to choose this path, mainly because it leads to a dramatic reduction in societal investments and operating and energy costs, plus it provides improved economic well-being, enhanced social equity and stability, and strong reductions in environmental damage on the current trajectory.
“Since the HSC scenario saves money, paying for it is not problematic. Cities and countries all over the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the potential of rapid increases in cycling, in fact it is clear that this kind of scenario is entirely possible in the given time period. However, a substantial amount of political will is required to 94dexepky course through the BAU [Business as always] to implement an HSC scenario, in fact it is not clear if cities and countries can find such will, especially given the low capacity for long-term planning in many places.”
You can find samples of where this has been done the study points out: “Over the future, it may be feasible for many cities to replicate the success of cycling in cities like Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam inside the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds 40 percent of all the trips, and then in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from low levels of cycling after The Second World War to greater than 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is particularly relevant, because it grew cycling mode share from .5 percent to just about 7 percent of trips in six years (2006-2012), with the number 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) throughout the city and implementing a bicycle share program with 2,500 bicycles and 258 stations in a dense bike share network over the city. Paris, Buenos Aires, and Montreal have also 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 experience a mode be part of Australia even more than the HSC overall average of 22 %. “My general guideline for which we ought to be focusing on in Australian cities is just one third walking and cycling, 1 / 3rd public transport and one 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, one third public transport powered by renewable power then one third private vehicles powered by alternative energy we could arrive. The critical thing to say is ‘This is when we’re heading for’ and set up out your plan to accomplish it and seriously implement it. It means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”