CO2 Emissions Have Risen by 40 Percent Since 1990

While looking at this cute video made last year by the Environmental Defense Fund, we thought it is worth to remind you about the failure of Kyoto Protocol. According to the German Renewable Energy Industry Institute (IWR), carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose by 1.94 percent in 2008 to 31.5 billion tons.

CO2 emissions rose for the tenth year in succession and have risen by 40 percent since 1990 — the year towards which emissions reductions were to be measured for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

There is no need to remind you that the huge part of emissions is due to cars and the need to draft a new protocol that would really help to support sustainable transportation in all its dimensions (urban planing, active and strong support for public transportation, biking, walking…). Before that, we can all follow the wise advise of this ideo and ride rather to drive….

You can find more information about IWR report here.

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More colours in car adverts?

On the streets just outside the EU Parliament in Brussels we’ve asked people about the information in car adverts, showing two versions of our imaginary MOTOKA car advert.

In the first ad the info is very similar to the way it is currently displayed on car ads. In the second ad the info is more prominently displayed with a colour code label.

Which one is more clear? Do you understand the figures?

Video by Friends of the Earth Europe : http://www.drivingthechange.eu

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Still a long way to go in Buenos Aires

In my last post I tried to reflect my views as a bike commuter here in Buenos Aires. I made just a brief comment on public transport but in this post I’d like to picture the scene in a broader way.

Biking is relatively comfortable and safe in Moreno, my hometown. The situation changes if you want to cycle beyond Moreno: on working days and especially at rush hours, travelling on the train with your bikes is almost a torture as companies seem unable to realise the one and only carriage they provide for bike commuters is not enough. Yes, they only provide one carriage for bike commuters. I don’t use the train to go to work because I work in the suburbs of my hometown but lots of people do use the train to commute and it’s chaotic. Below I’ll show you a shot of a carriage for bike commuters.

The picture shown is a carriage meant for bikes in my train line. Believe it or not, this carriage is packed with bike commuters during working days. I’d like this railway company to do something for us. We need it..

Fuming mad

Air quality has plummeted along one of the main traffic sewers into Brighton to such an extent that the Council has said no to new house building on the route: residents would be poisoned in their own homes.

Air pollution in Brighton - ©The Argus

Air pollution in Brighton - ©The Argus

Green councillor Ian Davey said, “It is staggering we have allowed air quality to get so terrible.”

Quite. What about the existing population of the area? Er, they’ve been told not to open their windows.

My questions for car drivers, the local authority and the Department for Transport are:

1. In a city well served by rail and bus, do you have to make your journey by car?

2. When will we have ‘action’ from the local Air Quality Action Plan e.g. bans on a proportion of the private car fleet on hot days, as used in Italy and Greece? Was it sensible to permit the withdrawal of Brighton’s sole park and ride service in April, and why are you considering lower city centre car parking charges?

3. Why are the premature deaths of 24,000 people in Britain every year from air pollution considered acceptable? What happened to the polluter pays concept?

What does our society value more: the freedom from entirely controllable threats to our health, or the so-called right to drive when, where and as often as we want without restriction?

In the words of the EC’s 2001 transport white paper, it’s time to decide.

Simon Field

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