Transport, carbon emission reduction and health- the possibility of a virtuous circle?

Monday, June 9th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 2 Comments

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Dr Caroline Shaw and Associate Professor Simon Hales

Editor note: In this Blog, Caroline Shaw and Simon Hales reflect on the weak evidence on health co-benefits for some ‘big’ environmental policies, but also highlight that there are many ‘no-brainer’ actions that can be taken now with likely health and environmental co-benefit. They have recently published a systematic review “Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Policies in the Transport Sector”.

The transport sector globally generates about 23% of carbon emissions (about 16% of gross emissions in New Zealand). This is largely dominated by the use of light vehicles (see the pie chart below- note: energy use is a good proxy for carbon emissions in the transport sector). Transport emissions continue to grow rapidly, particularly in emerging economies, and by one account transport could represent half of all global emissions by 2050. Continue reading