Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Traveling In The Right Direction: Lessening Our Impact On The Environment

Date:
February 4, 2007
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
As concern about climate change increasingly focuses on the environmental damage caused by travel, new research shows that there are huge variations in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions for which individuals' travel patterns are responsible.

As concern about climate change increasingly focuses on the environmental damage caused by travel, new research shows that there are huge variations in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that individuals' travel patterns are responsible for.

Researchers funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council and based at Oxford University found that the climate change impact of individuals' annual travel was, on average, equivalent to 5.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide. And although a large proportion of the population are responsible for roughly the same amount of emissions, a few people are responsible for a disproportionately large share of the total. The Oxford researchers found that 61 per cent of all travel emissions came from individuals in the top 20 per cent of 'emitters', while only 1 per cent of emissions came from those in the bottom 20 per cent.

This high emitters group is mostly made up of employed men in high income groups (earning over 40,000 per year). And across the board, people in high income groups have an average climate change impact of 11.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide - twice the national average. This means they earn around four times as much as low earners and produce on average almost four times as much carbon dioxide emissions.

The research, based on a survey of almost 500 people in Oxfordshire, found that air travel accounted for 70 per cent of personal travel carbon emissions. Individuals classified as being in the top tenth of emitters, were responsible for producing 19.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, from their flying alone. This is especially high given that the suggested safe level of personal carbon emissions, the figure that any future carbon allowance scheme would probably be based upon, could be as low as two tonnes per person.

Car driving was the second largest cause of personal travel carbon emissions and the results of the survey suggest that enforcing motorway speed limits could save up to four per cent of all car travel carbon emissions.

Commenting on the research, project leader Professor John Preston, said:

"The UK is facing tough choices on how to lower greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change. The transport sector contributes 26 per cent of UK carbon emissions and is the only major sector in which emissions are predicted to rise in the period till 2020. Transport is thus a priority area for government policy. This research helps us understand the extent to which individuals' travel patterns, their location and their social class make an impact on climate change through the carbon dioxide emissions created by their transport use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Traveling In The Right Direction: Lessening Our Impact On The Environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070204111721.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2007, February 4). Traveling In The Right Direction: Lessening Our Impact On The Environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070204111721.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Traveling In The Right Direction: Lessening Our Impact On The Environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070204111721.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins