Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Travelling In The Right Direction: Lessening Our Impact On The Environment

01.02.2007
As concern about climate change increasingly focuses on the environmental damage caused by travel, new research shows that there are huge variations in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that individuals' travel patterns are responsible for.

Researchers funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council and based at Oxford University found that the climate change impact of individuals' annual travel was, on average, equivalent to 5.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide. And although a large proportion of the population are responsible for roughly the same amount of emissions, a few people are responsible for a disproportionately large share of the total.

The Oxford researchers found that 61 per cent of all travel emissions came from individuals in the top 20 per cent of 'emitters', while only 1 per cent of emissions came from those in the bottom 20 per cent.

This high emitters group is mostly made up of employed men in high income groups (earning over £40,000 per year). And across the board, people in high income groups have an average climate change impact of 11.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide - twice the national average. This means they earn around four times as much as low earners and produce on average almost four times as much carbon dioxide emissions.

The research, based on a survey of almost 500 people in Oxfordshire, found that air travel accounted for 70 per cent of personal travel carbon emissions. Individuals classified as being in the top tenth of emitters, were responsible for producing 19.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, from their flying alone. This is especially high given that the suggested safe level of personal carbon emissions, the figure that any future carbon allowance scheme would probably be based upon, could be as low as two tonnes per person.

Car driving was the second largest cause of personal travel carbon emissions and the results of the survey suggest that enforcing motorway speed limits could save up to four per cent of all car travel carbon emissions.

Commenting on the research, project leader Professor John Preston, said:

"The UK is facing tough choices on how to lower greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change. The transport sector contributes 26 per cent of UK carbon emissions and is the only major sector in which emissions are predicted to rise in the period till 2020. Transport is thus a priority area for government policy. This research helps us understand the extent to which individuals' travel patterns, their location and their social class make an impact on climate change through the carbon dioxide emissions created by their transport use."

Annika Howard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>