Improve: The Urgency of Decarbonizing Transport
Improve: The Urgency of Decarbonizing Transport
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Improve: The Urgency of Decarbonizing Transport

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PHOTOS FREEDIM OF DREAM @ stock.adobe.com

The urgency of sustainable energy extraction.
The urgency of sustainable energy extraction.
What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.

Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything.

What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.

Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything.

Greener transportation leads to cleaner cities and skies. Improving the energy efficiency of transport modes and vehicle technology will have a transversal impact on citizen's quality of life. Although the decarbonization of vehicles has been a goal for seemingly an eternity, a number of challenges remain before these modes of transportation can reach cost and energy efficiency.

In this scenario, we suggest alternative ways of energy extraction and vehicle fueling, as well as improved vehicle infrastructure possibilities.

The traditional internal combustion engine along with its predecessor, the steam engine, have helped society achieve incredible accomplishments, thus helping develop constantly-improving methods of transportation to take us farther, faster. Without the two of them, our society would have likely continued to be agrarian and rural like our ancestors. At the same time, they have polluted our skies and solidified our reliance on fossil fuels, causing environmental degradation as we continuously search for and pluck these valuable resources from the Earth. The extraction of coal and petroleum is already well beyond acceptable levels. In 2018, humans consumed an average of 99.3 million barrels of oil per day; this number is growing. A wholesale switch to sustainable sources of energy needs to be made.

It will not be easy. The oil industry is the second biggest industry in the world. As a nonrenewable natural resource, the value increases as it becomes more scarce. Regional conflict complexes tied to petroleum have killed millions, so although shifting to greener renewable alternatives might appear like an undoubtedly good alternative for the planet, there are high financial interests at stake. Not everyone has bought into the switch yet either. Many politicians are against investing capital into economically friendly ventures; some private enterprises feel the same. It will take significant advancements to overcome these obstacles and demand greener technologies in order to supplant the fossil fuel-reliant ones.

Increasing pollution in cities is leading to more health issues. Despite the global focus on reducing vehicular emissions and developing more environmentally friendly forms of transportation, this sector continues to be one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. Thankfully, many Biofuels are being tested and slowly implemented, as well as other solutions such as Perovskite Solar Cells. Yet, Electrification of vehicles remains the most popular alternative, carrying a very important advantage in relation to other energy resources; its infrastructure is already spread worldwide, we already know how electricity works and we already have the means to implement it into vehicle layouts across urban areas. One of the last remaining major hurdles is increasing the efficiency of electric batteries to compete with gasoline combustion engines. Once that occurs, direct competition and equal footing will likely cause electric vehicles' adoption to skyrocket.

Improving infrastructure

While the possibility of living in a world fueled by fully renewable, green energy grows increasingly likely, we still have a long way to go in terms of cost and accessibility — especially in developing countries. The massive infrastructure shifts needed to implement sweeping green technologies are a distant afterthought in places still lacking the infrastructural solutions covering basic human needs. In short: providing water and shelter must be addressed in conjunction with enormous investments in sustainable technologies. The two go hand-in-hand and can complement each other upon implementation, skipping the ecologically unfriendly practices of the western world. Knowing that the world will run out of oil in about 60 years, we are running out of time.

9 topics
Adapting to Climate Change
Energy Efficiency
Green Economy
Green and Climate Finance
Mitigation of Green House Gas Emissions
Natural Resources
Renewable Energy
Sustainable Mobility
Urbanization
6 SDGs
09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
07 Affordable and Clean Energy
16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
13 Climate Action
12 Responsible Consumption and Production

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  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Green Economy
  • Green and Climate Finance
  • Mitigation of Green House Gas Emissions
  • Natural Resources
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Urbanization
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