Short drives equal lots of greenhouse gas

Did you know that by walking to the corner store instead of driving, Australian and UK residents could save millions of metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents) per year?

Recent surveys by Carbon Planet show that short car trips – those less than 20-minutes long (about eight kilometres or less) – create about 3.5 megatonnes of CO2e per year in Australia and a whopping 9.88 megatonnes per year in the UK. (A megatonne is one million metric tones.)

Carbon Planet CEO Dave Saag says:

If these short car journeys were replaced by alternative forms of transport, they would produce considerable savings in greenhouse gas emissions.

In Australia, our current yearly emissions are 535.30 Mt, so stopping short car trips would cut this by 0.65 percent. Compare this 3.5 Mt saving with the Australian Government’s promotion of energy-saving light-bulbs, which will only save about 800,000 tonnes per year.

The financial savings would also be considerable – about $1.303 billion per year in car running costs, or $118.80 per Australian; and about £3.19 billion per year, or £95.86 per UK resident.

Carbon Planet’s Australian study found that 75 percent of the total distance travelled by motor vehicles are by cars, and 53 percent of this travel is for short journeys. The UK study found that 70 percent of car travel is for short journeys.

So next time you are thinking of driving to the shop have a think about the benefits of walking or cycling. As well as helping save the planet you’ll get some fresh are and exercise. It’s hard to see the downside.

Source: Carbon Planet


2 Responses

  1. Sorry,Im not going to be inconvenienced by these environmental losers any longer and thier constantly trying to drag me and a kicking screaming society thats being ecotaxed to death by this silliness into thier type of control.
    I believe that drinving my car is a good thing for myself and the planet and I believe all this silly hype and hysteria will make us the laughingstocks of future generaations when nothing significiant happens. You can call me a boor, a loser a climate change denier…whatever you greenies like to call people who disagree with your endless hype and propaganda.
    When I see Al Gore living in an unheated cave and standing at the bus stop for an hour, maybe I might join this Luddite and Marxist movent disguised as environmentalism, but dont count on it.
    Maybe when you expose Hollywood actors daily flying into thier location shoots ,instead of picking on us average Joes trying to get to work and working in “carbon spewing” factories then you may have some credibility with the rest of us who are so sick and tired of payingyour silly green taxes, carbon taxes,paying the scientists to do “green research” etc.

  2. Bert,
    I’m not going to call you anything. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and you have yours just like I have mine.
    What I would say is that even if global warming turns out to be a non-issue we still have to deal with pollution.Most of the work being done to reduce greenhouse emission is also reducing pollution. Either way the planet and its future inhabitants win.
    Short drives equal lots of pollution.

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