Whilst we all know that both the transportation sector and the energy/ industrial sectors are amongst the main contributors towards greenhouse gas emissions, the magnitude and order in which they contribute might come as a surprise. In particular the fact that emissions from the latter industries also contain gases, which cause cooling by reflecting light and altering clouds, means that the net effect of the transportation industry powered be fossil fuels is higher than that of the energy sector.
What does that mean? Well, it is great that we cut back on the use of coal fired power stations, but we won`t achieve a huge net result if we don`t think about innovative solutions for the transport sector of the 21st century.
We therefore need new transport systems that connect bicycles, buses, trains, and shared cars that allow us to travel in a fast, cheap and comfortable way without actually owning a car.
Germany was supposed to be a model for solving global warming. In 2007, the country’s government announced that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by the year 2020. This was the kind of bold, aggressive climate goal scientists said was needed in all developed countries. If Germany could do it, it would prove the target possible.