Monday 26 September 2016

Public transport key to cuts

Published 14/12/2015 | 02:30

Aviation and shipping make up around 8pc of total greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), and there is nothing in the Paris Agreement to address this
Aviation and shipping make up around 8pc of total greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), and there is nothing in the Paris Agreement to address this

A common criticism of the COP process is the amount of carbon generated as delegates fly from all corners of the globe to discuss ways of reducing emissions.

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Aviation and shipping make up around 8pc of total greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), and there is nothing in the Paris Agreement to address this.

According to carbonfootprint.com, two return flights from Dublin to Paris generate 230,000 grams of CO2. It's clear that aviation will have to be revisited at a later stage.

But the French capital did show the enormous difference that can be achieved when using sustainable forms of public transport instead of the car.

Over the course of 11 days, the Irish Independent used the train 17 times, the bus on 14 occasions and made two journeys in taxis.

The trains were all electric, with hybrid buses generally used. Public transport website Ratp.fr allows you calculate the emissions produced travelling between destinations.

For example, each trip between Le Bourget station and St Michel Notre Dame produced 48 grams of carbon. By way of comparison, had I driven instead of using the train, each trip would have generated 728 grams.

In all, use of the Paris public transport system resulted in 1,540 grams being emitted.

By car, the total would have hit 47,586 grams, an enormous difference and proof of what a well-functioning system can do.

Irish Independent

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