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The wheels to a low-carbon transport system

Topics covered:

  1. Conservation related issues.


The wheels to a low-carbon transport system


What to study?

For prelims and mains: Impact of road transport system on climate change and measures needed to reverse this trend.


Context: Studies show that India’s road transport emissions are small in global comparison but increasing exponentially. In fact, the Global Carbon Project reports that India’s carbon emissions are rising more than two times as fast as the global rise in 2018.



Globally, the transport sector accounts for a quarter of total emissions, out of which three quarters are from road transport.



Why reduce CO2 emissions from road transport?

Reducing CO2 emissions of road transport leverages multiple co-benefits, for example, improving air quality and increasing physical activity, which are critical for well-being, particularly in urban areas.


What needs to be done?

  1. The action requires an understanding of how emissions vary with spatial context. In India, income and urbanisation are the key determinants of travel distance and travel mode choice and, therefore, commuting emissions.
  2. Mayors and town planners should organise cities around public transport and cycling, thereby improving mobility for many, while limiting car use.
  3. India should double down in its strategy to transition to electric two and three-wheelers. India is the third-largest market for automobiles; about 25 million internal combustion engines were sold in 2017, including about 20 million two-wheelers.
  4. Compact cities improve accessibility and reduce emissions from transport and even the building sector. City managers should ensure that existing urban areas provide short routes and fast access to schools, hospitals and jobs, otherwise, residents would be required to travel long distances.


Sources: the Hindu.