Science

The transport sector increases Germany’s carbon footprint – Science et Avenir

In order to mitigate the impact of the transport sector on the climate, Germany has introduced for three months (June-July-August 2022) a €9 monthly pass valid on all regional public transport modes throughout the territory. According to Spiegel, the federation of German transport companies (VDV) has just announced the great success of this initiative, with more than 80 million tickets sold. But is the expected goal really achieved? The measure was intended to encourage Germans, big car enthusiasts, to change their habits and “make them prefer the train”. Success from this point of view is more ambiguous, because only one user in 10 has changed his vehicle to public transport at least once. Thus, the stacks were filled mostly by repeat customers, even if one in five customers was new. In addition, there is a disparity between cities and rural areas, where half as many trips were made.
This life-size experience first of all revealed the advantages and disadvantages of public transport: the offer was indeed particularly attractive on the wallet, but the problems inherent in the network infrastructure or the length of the trips turned out to be prohibitive. In terms of carbon footprint, one billion trips taken in those three months resulted in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions of around 1.8 million tons, the equivalent of an annual 130 km/h speed limit per person. highways. Since the transport sector is the black sheep in assessing the climate on the Rhine, this economy is welcome and the federation of transport companies such as the Länder, environmental associations, environmentalists, social democrats and of course also users are looking forward to the government’s decision in favor of the resumption this type of offer. Negotiations are underway between the government and the states for 2023.

Credit: Climateporter logo

The emergency program proposed this summer by the Federal Ministry of Transport does not bode well, notes the online magazine klimateporter°. For the president of the environmental protection association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), this is even a “farce”. In case of exceeding the climate targets set for the year, the ministries of the sectors concerned have three months to prepare an emergency program aimed at correcting the situation. But the one just presented by liberal minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is far from satisfying the Council of Climate Experts, which criticizes it for miscalculations. The proposed measures will indeed save 14 million tons of CO2 by 2030, but these efforts are far from solving the problem. Because the ministry seems to believe that the emergency program should be limited to compensating for overspending by 2021 of around 3 million tons of CO2, while at the same time ensuring that it meets the emissions calculated for each year.

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