In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Global Warming reached, initially considering that 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 a strong signal on the many thousands of cities, regions, businesses and citizens around the world already committed to climate action their vision of the low-carbon, resilient future has become the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary from the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming (UNFCCC), the entire body that convenes the conference.
At the same time, a new study from 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 as well as usage of transport, as well as reducing the total cost burden of transport. Referred To As A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, the analysis modelled the effect of a change in use of electric self-balancing scooter to become 22% of all transport trips in all cities worldwide by 2050.
With this particular shift, the model found 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 is certainly compared to continuing in the ‘business as usual’ manner where the private vehicle having an internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These sorts of results should attract the interest of policy-makers around australia, whose task following the Paris Agreement, is usually to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that can halt and commence to lower emissions causing global warming. These must include actions on transport, which globally makes up about nearly 25% of all carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution within australia can be a lesser 16-17%, however, 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 would be the dirtiest in the world 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-would be the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These new goals, established in September 2015 and guiding development for the following fifteen 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-that have been agreed from 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 usually to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its particular impacts”. The UN expressed optimism regarding this, saying: “The pace of change is quickening as increasing numbers of everyone is turning to renewable energy and an array 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 from the global energy mix”. The marked set is: “By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate entry 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 may be the Australian government conducting the land to be able to meet our international climate commitments?
JanetSenator Janet Rice, Spokesperson on Transport for your 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 likely to sign-up to as motherhood statements, and then to become intent on the implementation of this.”
“Our current government has a woeful background in relation to complying with international agreements,” she indicates. “That’s the process for people Greens to get pointing out that people are certainly not operating consistently using the things our company is signing up to. The community and society need to be calling our governments on that at the same time. Regular reviews [stipulated with the Paris Agreement] is one of the positive things containing emerge from the targets, in order that we are able to keep a record every 5 years of how we have been going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, sustainability is actually a critical aspect of all of the work I do. Certainly one of my core priorities is determining how best to reduce carbon pollution. Component of Labor’s ten point arrange for better cities is making an investment in active transport solutions which connect with public transport in order to help encourage people to take up low carbon travel option. Making smart helmet a viable choice for commuters can be a key opportunity to help reduce carbon pollution,?reach our emissions reduction targets and offer positive health impacts.”
The Minister for the Environment, the Liberal party’s Greg Hunt is keeping a tight give attention to cities. “Improving the productivity, liveability and accessibility of Australia’s cities can be a national priority for your Turnbull Government,” he was quoted saying. “Ensuring entry to a choice of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can enjoy an important part in delivering these objectives.”
A region 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. Environmental Surroundings 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 per cent of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement also includes a top priority setting process to aid governments to deliver coordinated and practical responses to quality of air problems.
“Cars overall are far, far more of your affect on our air quality than marine engines and wood burners,” she says. “But these are accepted as the baseline: ‘We couldn’t come to be doing much to modify that’. You’re not going to get to zero emissions until we receive to some 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 a lot more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits because diversity. Its underlying assumptions are that trips below 10km are cycle-able and over 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 manufactured 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) In terms of transport, A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario implies that continuing inside a ‘business as usual’ manner has taken us inside the opposite direction to where we should go to curb CO2 emissions.
The Top Shift Cycling (HSC) study was preceded by way of 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 your greater proportion of public transport, cycling and walking but was criticised as not ambitious enough about the potential for increase in cycling being a mode share. The Top Shift Cycling study was commissioned from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
Now how can this sort of shift come about, especially in Australia, where cycling to work across our metropolitan cities currently makes up about about 2% of trips? The analysis explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are created in 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, because 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 over the current trajectory.
“Since the HSC scenario saves money, spending money on it is not problematic. Cities and countries all over the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the opportunity of rapid increases in cycling, and it is clear that this type of scenario is entirely possible within the given time period. However, a large amount of political will is required to 94dexepky course through 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 very long-term planning in numerous places.”
You will find instances of where it has been done the study highlights: “Over the long run, it might be feasible for many cities to replicate the prosperity of cycling in cities like Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam within the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds forty percent of trips, and then in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from low levels of cycling after The Second World War to more than 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is extremely relevant, mainly because it grew cycling mode share from .5 percent to nearly 7 percent of trips in six years (2006-2012), with the volume of cycling trips increasing from five thousand to seventy-two thousand daily. 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, a long-time advocate of electric assist bike, thinks we ought to be pushing more cycling to get a mode share in Australia even more compared to the HSC overall average of 22 percent. “My rule of thumb for the purpose we should be shooting for in Australian cities is one third walking and cycling, 1 / 3 public transport and another 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 mix of one third walking and cycling, one third public transport powered by alternative energy then one third private vehicles powered by sustainable energy we might arrive there. The critical thing to say is ‘This is where we’re heading for’ and set up out of the plan to do it and seriously implement it. It truly means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”