Cars and Climate Change

Whilst it is no secret that we are having a massive impact on the slow destruction of our planet much more should be done to combat climate change than is being done already. One of the big causes has always been fossil fuel emissions and one major contributor to this is the use of cars in everyday life, whether going to work, visiting friends, or simply just going out for a ride, cars have always had a major impact on the amount of fossil fuel emissions. Whilst things should be done on a larger scale, such as funding public transport to make it easier, more accessible, and more reliable to use public transport to travel you can have an impact on a smaller scale, and with everyone having a small impact a big impact then follows.

Public transport, cars, and the impact they have

It is common for people to use cars over public transport, and why not. Cars are easily accessible and it is commonly much easier to get into your own car and drive to a destination than it is to access good public transport. According to the UNEP "globally, the transport sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions". Nearly a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are down to the transport sector alone; this could be cut down massively if public transport received more funding. In the UK alone according to environmental protection UK "Millions of vehicles on roads in the UK and around the world may be operating without properly certified on-road emissions controls, as a result of test manipulation". This shows that car companies themselves could be doing more as millions of cars on the road in the UK are not operating with proper emissions controls.

The positives of public transport

Public transport can sometimes be looked upon negatively but the positive environmental impact it would have if there was more investment into it would be massive. According to Remix "approximately 85% of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from transportation are due to day-to-day commutes". This means if public transport was much more available, and of a high enough quality for people to want to use, then greenhouse gas emissions could decrease a staggering amount. Wider use of public transport would not only have positive environmental effects but it would have a positive effect on noise pollution and wouldn't be as much of an eyesore when cars are piled up on the road day and night making noise. Less traffic on the roads and less road congestion will also mean any kind of transport getting through cities or busy roads will enjoy much easier rides to their destinations. On top of these advantages, depending on your commute you may be able to save money using public transport, with fuel prices constantly rising and cars being commonly quite expensive to maintain, using public transport may become a much cheaper option for people in the future.

What can be done

There are various different ways that public transport can be improved and some steps have already been taken in countries like the UK. For example, in cities, you may see that public transport has been given priority on roads by having lanes that only allow buses in them. If anyone not on a bus is caught driving in these lanes they are fined, dissuading people from using these lanes to take shortcuts. There are also trams in many cities which take priority in certain areas and this means that both buses and trams are more likely to be on time allowing for the people traveling on them to get to where they need to be on time, however, this caters mainly to cities so people living outside of cities most likely do not have tram availability and the buses will use normal roads. Improving customer satisfaction on said public transports is also a great way to get more people to travel on buses and trains etc. Having self-service gate control and ticket machines all working efficiently allows for people to get what they need efficiently and on time, and will also allow for workers to be free to answer questions and queries that travelers may have. Trains and buses have also taken the steps for people to charge their electrical equipment on board so that they can both entertain themselves and do any work that needs to be done before they get to their destination. These are just some steps that can and have already been taken to ensure satisfactory travel for everyone and with the continued improvement of public transport eventually less and less people will need their cars meaning fossil fuel consumption will go down massively having a major environmental impact both in your country and on the world.