Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers

Date:
August 14, 2014
Source:
University of Surrey
Summary:
Transport accounts for 30% of carbon dioxide emissions in the EU, with emissions rising 36% between 1990 and 2007. New research has found a need to dissect the widely-held view that new technologies, such as biofuel and improved aircraft design, will result in carbon reduction targets being met.

Transport accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions in the EU, with emissions rising 36% between 1990 and 2007. The research, carried out by Lund University and the University of Surrey a found  a need to dissect the widely-held view that new technologies, such as biofuel and improved aircraft design, will result in carbon reduction targets being met.

Related Articles


In the paper, researchers highlight the fact that policy makers are turning to the perceived benefits of such technologies to drive decarbonisation policy, despite contrary evidence. They argue that in order to cut damaging carbon emissions, politicians need to address ‘transport taboos’ rather than focus just on technological innovation.

These transport taboos are defined as transport ‘norms’, such as societies’ growing appetite for frequent, long-distance travel, the unjust relationship between mobility and income, and the powerful position of lobbyists and industry in influencing policy. The team of researchers found that policies which challenged these taboos are regarded as serious threats to political position and are therefore ignored by politicians.

 “This study shows what a pervasive force the transport industry is in influencing carbon-reduction policy. Politicians continue to ignore evidence of what works in favour of optimistic headlines about technological innovation, driven by industry and lobbyists,” said co-author, Dr Scott Cohen from the University of Surrey

“There is a lot of exaggeration surrounding ‘wonder’ technologies that promise to reduce carbon levels while allowing privileged sections of society to continue to travel without limits. These optimistic claims are largely undebated in political circles, as this would force politicians to face some harsh truths.”

Researchers found that it is the most highly mobile and environmentally aware travellers who refuse to reduce travel, with men in higher income groups the most frequent and long-distance flyers. 

“The richest and politically powerful contribute the most to global carbon emissions. Ironically they are offered rewards for this behaviour with air miles, as well as earning prestige among peers who view international travel as a status symbol. Our research explores how these transport taboos are driving policies that are contradictory to carbon emission targets. For example, energy intensive air transport is the least taxed and most subsidised. In one year, Ryanair received subsidies of 800m Euro while encouraging frequent, low-cost flight. Rather than maintain the status quo, we need to start challenging these damaging norms.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Surrey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stefan Gφssling, Scott Cohen. Why sustainable transport policies will fail: EU climate policy in the light of transport taboos. Journal of Transport Geography, 2014; 39: 197 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2014.07.010

Cite This Page:

University of Surrey. "Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814212517.htm>.
University of Surrey. (2014, August 14). Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814212517.htm
University of Surrey. "Politicians need to address transport taboos, not just new technology, to meet carbon targets, say researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814212517.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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