In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Climate Change reached, the very first time because the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the goal of keeping climate change below 2°C.
“The Paris Agreement also sends an excellent signal to the many 1000s of cities, regions, businesses and citizens around the globe already devoted to climate action that their vision of the low-carbon, resilient future is now the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the entire body that convenes the conference.
Simultaneously, a fresh study with 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 and energy consumption of transport, while reducing the overall cost burden of transport. Called A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, the study modelled the result of the change in usage of electric self-balancing scooter to be 22% of all transport trips in most 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 by way of a staggering US$128 trillion. This can be in comparison to continuing within a ‘business as usual’ manner where the private vehicle with the internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These kinds of results should attract the interest of policy-makers in Australia, whose task pursuing the Paris Agreement, is always to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that may halt and initiate to lower emissions causing global warming. These must include actions on transport, which globally makes up about nearly 25% of all the carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution around australia is a lesser 16-17%, but not because we are doing anything right to curb it-our vehicle emission standards are among the worst within the developed world-but because our coal-fired electricity generators will be the dirtiest worldwide and our agriculture is heavily reliant on fossil-fuel-derived fertilisers.
Also urging all nations to action on climatic change-and focussing all development on the sustainable and socially responsible trajectory-will be the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These new goals, established in September 2015 and guiding development for the following 15 years, follow on through the Millenium Development Goals of 2000-2015. Whereas the Millenium Development Goals were guidance for developing countries though, this latest round of goals-which have been 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, as an example, is to “Take urgent action to combat global warming and its impacts”. The UN expressed optimism relating to this, saying: “The pace of change is quickening as increasing numbers of folks are turning to sustainable energy and a variety of other measures that may reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.”
To be able to combat climate change, Goal 7 exhorts countries and businesses to: “increase substantially the share of sustainable energy inside the global energy mix”. The objective set is: “By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology”.
So, just how is the Australian government conducting the country to be able to meet our international climate commitments?
JanetSenator Janet Rice, Spokesperson on Transport for that Greens and 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, after which to be serious about the implementation of this.”
“Our current government carries a woeful track record with regards to complying with international agreements,” she indicates. “That’s the problem for us Greens to become pointing out that we will not be operating consistently together with the things our company is signing up to. The community and society must be calling our governments out on that at the same time. Regular reviews [stipulated with the Paris Agreement] is one of the positive things containing come out of the targets, in order that we could keep track every five-years of how our company is going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Global Warming and Water, sustainability is really a critical aspect of the work I do. One of my core priorities is determining how best to reduce carbon pollution. Element of Labor’s ten point policy for better cities is buying active transport solutions which connect on top of public transport to be able to help persuade folks to consider 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 supply 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 access to a choice of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can enjoy a crucial part in delivering these objectives.”
A location of focus for the current Abbott-Turnbull government has been air quality. Minister Hunt in December 2015 released a National Clean Air Agreement struck between the government as well as the Australian states. The Surroundings 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, together with wood heaters. These sources can contribute as much as 10 percent of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement includes a priority setting process to help you governments to supply coordinated and practical responses to air quality problems.
“Cars overall tend to be, much more of any impact 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 alter that’. You’re not going to get to zero emissions until we receive to your fleet of electric cars fuelled on 100% renewably produced electricity and that’s very far off.”
The Top Shift Cycling study, however, envisages a world where transport is far more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits in that diversity. Its underlying assumptions are that trips lower than 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 difference from your 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 Usual. HS: High Shift(2014). HSC: High Shift Cycling (2015) Regarding transport, An International High Shift Cycling Scenario reveals that continuing in the ‘business as usual’ manner has taken us inside the opposite direction to where we should go to curb CO2 emissions.
Our Prime Shift Cycling (HSC) study was preceded from a High Shift study of 2014, also conducted from the Institute for Transport Studies at University of California, Davis. The prior study modelled a shift to a greater proportion of public transport, cycling and walking but was criticised as not ambitious enough about the potential of rise in cycling like a mode share. The Top Shift Cycling study was commissioned from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) as well as the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
So how can this kind of shift come about, especially in Australia, where cycling to function across our metropolitan cities currently accounts for about 2Per cent of trips? The study explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are made in the national level and then in cities around the globe in favor of density, locational efficiency, mixed use, and parking management. Political leaders have strong incentives to select this path, because it results in a dramatic reduction in societal investments and operating and energy 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, investing in it is really not problematic. Cities and countries all over the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the chance of rapid increases in cycling, and is particularly clear that this sort of scenario is entirely possible in the given time frame. However, a large amount of political will is necessary to 94dexepky course through 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 many places.”
There are types of where this has been done the research highlights: “Over the long term, it may be feasible for many cities to replicate the prosperity of cycling in cities such as Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds forty percent of most trips, and also in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from lower levels of cycling after World War 2 to a lot more than 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is specially relevant, because it grew cycling mode share from .5 percent to just about 7 percent of trips in six years (2006-2012), with the volume of cycling trips increasing from five thousand to seventy-2000 each day. Seville achieved this by installing a backbone network of nearly 130 kilometers of protected cycle lanes (cycle tracks) through the city and implementing a bike share program with 2,500 bicycles and 258 stations within a dense bike share network all over the city. Paris, Buenos Aires, and Montreal also 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, a long-time advocate of electric assist bike, thinks we must be pushing more cycling to possess a mode share in Australia even greater than the HSC overall average of 22 %. “My principle for what we should be aiming for in Australian cities is certainly one third walking and cycling, 1 / 3 public transport then 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, a third public transport powered by renewable power and something third private vehicles powered by alternative energy we could get there. The critical thing to say is ‘This is how we’re heading for’ and set up the plan to get it done and seriously implement it. It genuinely means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”