The world is at the cusp where most of us aren’t sure, about which road to take. Should it be about feeding the population or should it be about saving the world from an impending climate change. However, sustainability is in a way making the world leaders find a middle ground. One major instance of the same can be seen in the fact that multiple countries have started taking active steps to promote sustainable agriculture and also address the emissions. As a matter of fact, in 2020, The World Bank reached the highest amount of climate financing, standing tall at $2.14 bn, with an intent to sync up the operations in tandem with the Paris Agreement by 2023.
However, despite the positivity, and efforts, one major challenge remains and it is of tacking the global increase in the means of transportation and hence the pollution resulting thereof. At this pace, it seems practically impossible to reach the 1.5-degree climate goal. To put a few facts into perspective, the transport sector alone emits roughly 24% of the entire carbon emissions across the globe. As per estimates, this number can go as high as 60% by the year 2050.
You see, tackling the transportation problem isn’t as simple as stopping the wheels on the road or eliminating shipping and flights or finding an economical eco-friendly fuel. This concern goes way beyond that. This is because transportation is essentially a mirror to the growth and development of the society. The entire world economy rests on it. The supply chain as we know it becomes a supply chain because things get transported.
Hence, be it a developing or a developed country, bringing the transportation to halt or even tweaking the efficiencies by the most minuscule of the margins would result in huge losses. In all practicality, the world doesn’t seem set to manage such a huge blow.
So, What next?
There have been several round table conferences, many initiatives are being promised to be taken, funding is being put in place to encourage research and it seems optimistic but there is no solution in place, not as yet at least. The only things that is being talked about is how to achieve a decarbonisation of the transportation by ensuring a strategic, systemic, and concerted effort.
The World Bank has launched the Global Facility to Decarbonise Transport program, a multi-donor trust fund that will deal with finding out a solution for this problem alone. Efforts are on to find a way such that not only is the decarbonisation obtained, but it also becomes an inclusive solution to alleviate the condition of women, and children.
One solution that has the maximum takers and is on the way to a pilot is the Bus Rapid Transit system that can take cars off the roads, while also increasing the mobility and area coverage in general. Since these buses, run on tracks or are powered by hydroelectricity, it still seems to be a better solution than fossil fuel-based transport. The challenge though is the scaling of this concept. While the BRTS is good for intracity travel, inter-city doesn’t look like a feasible solution at all.
All in all, the very fact that people have started recognising the problem and are looking at finding a solution in itself is a huge achievement. Transport decarbonisation is a critical challenge to solve if we want to achieve a sustainable solution to global climate change. How long would that solution take to be executed though, remains to be seen?
As our regular reader, we are sure that you must be having a lot of views too. Probably, you must have thought of some good solutions or maybe have some ideas. Please feel free to reach out to us with them and we will be happy to discuss and publish them on our platform.