Global shift away from cars would save US$100 trillion, eliminate 1,700 megatons of carbon dioxide pollution

The "High Shift" scenario for global transportation: slashing CO2 pollution, saving money, improving lives. Image Credit: University of California, Davis
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More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide — a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions — could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report.

Further, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths could be avoided annually by 2050 if governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels, according to a related analysis of these urban vehicle activity pathways by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) included in the report.

“Transportation, driven by rapid growth in car use, has been the fastest growing source of CO2 in the world, said Michael Replogle, ITDP’s managing director for policy and co-author of the report. “An affordable but largely overlooked way to cut that pollution is to give people clean options to use public transportation, walking and cycling, expanding mobility options especially for the poor and curbing air pollution from traffic.”

“The analysis shows that getting away from car-centric development will cut urban CO2 dramatically and also reduce costs, especially in rapidly expanding economies,” said report co-author Lew Fulton, co-director of NextSTEPS Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. “It is also critical to reduce the energy use and carbon emissions of all vehicles.”

For more on this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140917073300.htm

Source: Science Daily/Torronto