Brundtland Report (1987) "sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of futrure generations to meet their own needs"
- There has been huge population growth globally - now at 7 billion people 2012
- Globally the growth in vehicle numbers/distances driven is consistently increasing
- Some demand remains suppressed - but this is short term - e.g. India and China
- There has also been a huge rise in air travel
- This increases demand for raw materials, entery and space
- It increases the externalities - perhaps most significantly air pollution
The essence of a more sustainbale transport outcome is when there is a witch from envrionmentally damaging to more 'acceptable' modes of transport - either using renewable energy or switching away from road-based models.
This is what sustainable transoport policy should be based on.
Modes of Transport
The average CO2 emissions of vehicles:
Short haul air & HGVs are the worst by far, then long-haul air travel, cars, buses, passenger rail and then rail freight.
We can see from this that a move away from the road would be most beneficial - particularly for freight.
When compared to road transport, rail emits fewer pollutants of all greenhouse gases except for sulphur dioxide.
Should air transport growth be controlled?
The scale of growth of air transport has been substantial.
In the UK Heathrow dominates (67.7 out of a total of 203.1 million flights) - although the one that has increased the most between 1995-2005 has been Stanstead.
Predictions point to this growth continuing with Heathrow leading to debate over what should be done - with some arguing a Third runway.
- Air transport is currently 5% of emissions - but if this growth continues it will be 25% by 2050
Some argue for the introduction of a green tax on flights. There have also been changes to the Air Passenger Duty - which is also partly an information campaign. Air emissions are now also included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme - which is a way of ensuring a fair price for passengers and that air transport meets its climate change targets.