In November 2015, the Paris Conference on Global Warming reached, initially since the inaugural Conference of Parties (COP) in 1995, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the objective of keeping climate change below 2°C.
“The Paris Agreement also sends a strong signal on the many a huge number of cities, regions, businesses and citizens around the world already dedicated to climate action that the vision of a low-carbon, resilient future is currently the chosen course for humanity this century,” stated Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary from the UN Framework Convention on Global Warming (UNFCCC), your body that convenes the conference.
At the same time, a whole new study from 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 analysis modelled the result of any shift in using electric self-balancing scooter to get 22% of most transport trips in most cities worldwide by 2050.
Using this type of shift, the model learned that CO2 emissions as well as use could be 47% reduced by 2050, and price is reduced from a staggering US$128 trillion. This is compared to continuing within a ‘business as usual’ manner where the private automobile by having an internal-combustion engine makes 80% of trips.
These types of results should attract the eye of policy-makers in Australia, whose task after the Paris Agreement, would be to draft ‘Nationally Determined Agreements’ that may halt and commence to decrease emissions causing global warming. These must include actions on transport, which globally accounts for nearly 25% of carbon emissions. Transport’s contribution within australia is really a lesser 16-17%, yet not because our company is doing anything right to curb it-our vehicle emission standards are the worst inside the developed world-but because our coal-fired electricity generators will be the dirtiest on the planet 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 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 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-that have been agreed with the UN general assembly process-provide all countries with guidelines and responsibilities to help make all development sustainable and globally just.
Goal 13 on the list, for example, is always 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 more everyone is turning to alternative energy and a selection of other measures which will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.”
In order to combat climate change, Goal 7 exhorts countries and businesses to: “increase substantially the share of alternative energy in the global energy mix”. The objective set is: “By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate entry to clean energy research and technology, including renewable power, 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 The Greens and a former Senior Strategic Transport Planner in local government, told Ride On: “There’s a big gap between those guidelines and what governments are prepared to sign up to as motherhood statements, and after that to get intent on the implementation of this.”
“Our current government carries a woeful reputation in relation to complying with international agreements,” she indicates. “That’s the task for people like us Greens being pointing out we usually are not operating consistently together with the things our company is registering with. The community and society should be calling our governments on that at the same time. Regular reviews [stipulated with the Paris Agreement] is among the positive things containing come out of the targets, in order that we can keep track every five-years of methods we have been going.”
Labor’s Mark Butler said: “As the Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, sustainability is a critical aspect of all of the work I really do. One of my core priorities is determining how wise to reduce carbon pollution. A part of Labor’s ten point plan for better cities is investing in active transport solutions which connect with public transport as a way to help encourage people to adopt up low carbon travel option. Making smart helmet a viable selection for commuters is a key opportunity to help reduce carbon pollution,?reach our emissions reduction targets and give positive health impacts.”
The Minister for the Environment, the Liberal party’s Greg Hunt is keeping a strict give attention to cities. “Improving the productivity, liveability and accessibility of Australia’s cities can be a national priority for the Turnbull Government,” he was quoted saying. “Ensuring entry to a selection of transport modes, including cycling and public transport, can start to play an important part in delivering these objectives.”
An area of focus for the current Abbott-Turnbull government has become quality of air. 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, as well as wood heaters. These sources can contribute around 10 per cent of air pollutants in cities. The Agreement also includes important setting process to assist governments to supply coordinated and practical responses to air quality problems.
“Cars overall are much, far more of the effect on our quality of air than marine engines and wood burners,” she says. “But they may be accepted as the baseline: ‘We couldn’t possibly be doing much to alter that’. You’re not going to get to zero emissions until we obtain to a 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 much more diverse-and finds tremendous benefits in that diversity. Its underlying assumptions are that trips below 10km are cycle-able and over 50 % of all trips are cycle-able by that definition. Across all global cities, the model anticipates a big difference 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) Regarding transport, A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario demonstrates that continuing within a ‘business as usual’ manner is to take us inside the opposite direction to where we should check out curb CO2 emissions.
The High 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 rise in cycling like a mode share. The High Shift Cycling study was commissioned through the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association (BPSA).
So, just how can this type of shift come about, especially in Australia, where cycling to operate across our metropolitan cities currently accounts for about 2% of trips? The analysis explains: “The HSC scenario is predicated upon an aggressive policy agenda where tough political decisions are manufactured at the national level and then in cities around the globe to opt for density, locational efficiency, mixed use, and parking management. Political leaders have strong incentives to decide on this path, as it results in a dramatic decline in societal investments and operating as well as costs, and it also provides improved economic well-being, enhanced social equity and stability, and powerful reductions in environmental damage across the current trajectory.
“Since the HSC scenario saves money, purchasing it is far from problematic. Cities and countries over the spectrum of wealth have demonstrated the potential of rapid increases in cycling, and is particularly clear that this kind of scenario is possible within the given length of time. However, a large amount of political will is necessary to 94dexepky course in the BAU [Business as always] to implement an HSC scenario, which is not clear if cities and countries are able to find such will, especially given the low capacity for too long-term planning in lots of places.”
There are instances of where this has been done the research indicates: “Over the long run, it can be possible for many cities to replicate the prosperity of cycling in cities like Groningen, Assen, and Amsterdam from the Netherlands, where cycling exceeds 40 % of trips, and also in Copenhagen in Denmark, which grew from low levels of cycling after World War 2 to greater than 45 percent of trips today.
“Seville, Spain, is especially relevant, 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 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 inside a dense bike share network across 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 enormous-scale bike sharing schemes.”
Senator Janet Rice, an extensive-time advocate of electric assist bike, thinks we need to be pushing more cycling to possess a mode be part of Australia even greater than the HSC overall average of 22 per cent. “My general guideline for the purpose we must be aiming for in Australian cities is certainly 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, 1 / 3rd public transport powered by renewable power and something third private vehicles powered by renewable energy we could get there. The critical thing to state is ‘This is how we’re heading for’ and set up out your plan to get it done and seriously implement it. It really means giving priority to walking cycling and public transport.”