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HomeBusinessConvenience, Comfort, Cost and Carbon: What's the Best Way to Travel, Save...

Convenience, Comfort, Cost and Carbon: What’s the Best Way to Travel, Save Money, Cut Emissions?

(Ralph Sims, Emeritus Professor, Energy and Climate Mitigation, Massey University)

Wellington, Dec 26 (The Conversation) When people are planning to travel on vacation, it is worth considering various travel options and their cost keeping in mind the budget and environment.

I have compared several travel options, including travel options by a small diesel car, electric car, bus, train or plane for the 300 km commuting journey. The process identified the limits of each option, which can help policymakers understand the challenges in developing low-carbon transportation systems.

New Zealand’s annual emissions related to transportation have doubled since 1990 and are responsible for about a fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions.

The Climate Change Commission has advised the government that it should reduce dependence on cars (or light vehicles) and encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport. There should be rapid adoption of electric vehicles. The local government should play an important role in changing the way people travel. Providing information is probably the key to changing the way people travel.

Compare Transportation

People choose their travel methods based on cost, ease and convenience as well as speed and safety, but most New Zealanders habitually use a car without considering any other option. They hardly pay attention to carbon-di-oxide emissions.

What to consider before traveling

Traveling by car can be relatively expensive, but it is more convenient to travel and can get to the destination more quickly than a bus, train or plane, if not obstructed by traffic. Traveling by car is convenient, but the car driver cannot read or work and rest during the journey as he can on a train.

If more than one person travels by car, the cost and carbon emissions per passenger will also be lower. Choosing a bus or train as a travel option for just one person will be comparatively more affordable.

Electric vehicles have low carbon emissions, especially if they are charged with a home solar system.

The government should increase the services of ‘Kiviral’. Apart from this, an educational campaign should be started about the full cost of traveling by car, the carbon emissions due to it, the convenience it brings.

the conversation

Simmi Dheeraj

patience

.

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