Before we discuss sustainable transportation, it is worthwhile to discuss the current transportation system of the world, which is quite unsustainable. Transportation accounts for around 20% to 25% of world’s total carbon emissions. The rising greenhouse gases, like CO2, have already started to impact our climate. We have recently seen an unprecedented number of cyclones and hurricanes. The glaciers in the Arctic are melting and there is an immediate threat of increasing sea levels. The number of vehicles is expected to increase around 250% by 2050. Our planet simply cannot support this much greenhouse gases.
Sustainable transportation is the only solution if we want to have transportation without making our planet inhabitable. Such transport system encompasses many things from switching to the renewable energy to any other kind of pollution caused by transportation.
Environmental organizations and governments are working to make transportation environment-friendly. However, the transition to sustainable transportation is extremely slow. More awareness on the part of the general public is needed to motivate governments to do more for an environment-friendly transportation system.
When we think about sustainable transportation, the first thought that comes to our mind is electric vehicles. After all, electric vehicles have zero carbon emission. Electric vehicles are indeed an integral part of a transportation system that is sustainable. However, the electricity used in the cars must come from sustainable sources. If the electricity is being produced by burning coal, driving an electric car cannot be sustainable.
In addition to sustainable electric vehicles, we need to change our social and cultural values. Communication technology has already made travel less necessary. We should bring certain changes to our lifestyle that need less travel. We need some innovations in ridesharing as it can prove a valuable factor in reducing carbon emission and road congestion. Promoting cycling is an excellent example of sustainable transportation. It can have a positive impact on the environment as well as our health.