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Fuel emissions focus 'too narrow'

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Kibunango, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Kibunango

    Kibunango JF-Expert Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Joined: Aug 29, 2006
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    Policymakers must consider more than just "tailpipe" emissions when assessing the impacts of different modes of transport, say researchers.

    Many analyses overlook greenhouse gases emitted in constructing and maintaining travel infrastructures, they added.

    The team found that, based on passenger kilometres travelled, off-peak urban bus services were more carbon-intensive than flights by commercial aircraft.
    The findings have been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

    The researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, said the importance of tackling emissions from transport meant that decisions should not be based on partial data.

    "Governmental policy has historically relied on energy and emission analysis of automobiles, buses, trains and aircraft at their tailpipe," they wrote.

    "[This ignores] vehicle production and maintenance, infrastructure provision and fuel production requirements to support these modes.
    "To date, a comprehensive life-cycle assessment (LCA) of passenger transportation in the US has not been completed."

    Hidden emissions
    The team selected a range of transport to be assessed, including a saloon car, an urban bus service and a mid-sized aircraft.

    They then identified ways in which energy was being used and/or gases were being emitted.

    As well as assessing "operational components", such as the fuel consumption of running an engine, the team also considered the impacts of "non-operational components", such as road construction, street lighting and maintenance.

    The data was then presented in terms of grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per passenger kilometre travelled (g CO2e/PKT) to allow a comparison between the different modes' carbon intensities.


    More at BBC NEWS
  2. kimatire

    kimatire JF-Expert Member

    Jun 10, 2009
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    Increasing energy use along with increasing urbanisation, industrialisation and motorisation has increased the emissions of air pollutants in many parts of the developing world. Some of the pollutants have a long lifespan and travel thousands of kilometres from the source. Air pollution and its transboundary effects are hazardous to health. Studies conducted over the world show that almost 800,000 people die prematurely each year from urban air pollution.An example of a study conducted in Nairobi in 2004 comparing 10 cities in the worlds, including Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Pune among others, showed that on average cars in Nairobi were the worst polluters, compared to cars in the US. Indoor air pollution is also a major killer in sub-Saharan Africa, estimated to kill approximately 400,000 people yearly; particularly women and children.