Now we know what James, Julie and Megan have been reading


Quote: It is well-known that societal energy consumption and pollutant emissions from transport are influenced not only by technical efficiency, mode choice and the carbon/pollutant content of energy but also by lifestyle choices and socio-cultural factors. However, only a few attempts have been made to integrate all of these insights into systems models of future transport energy demand or even scenario analysis. This paper addresses this gap in research and practice by presenting the development and use of quantitative scenarios using an integrated transport-energy-environment systems model to explore four contrasting futures for Scotland that compare transport-related ?lifestyle? changes and socio-cultural factors against a transition pathway focussing on transport electrification and the phasing out of conventionally fuelled vehicles using a socio-technical approach.[…]?End of quote.

Nope – I didn’t understand it either.

Eurekalert had a crack at decoding it:?Quote.

Changing our lifestyles and the way we travel could have as big – if not more of an impact on CO2 transport emissions, as electric vehicles and the transport technology revolution, according to new Oxford University research.[sic]

Published in?Energy Efficiency, the study uses Scotland as an example and suggests that, radical lifestyle change can show quicker results than the gradual transition to Electric Vehicles and phasing out of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles.

Scotland has committed itself to reduce carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. For transport, this includes international aviation and shipping which makes the targets more difficult to achieve. End of quote.

It is great to hear that the New Zealand Government are not the only idiots in this field.?Quote.

Led by Dr Christian Brand, Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Environmental Change Institute and Transport Studies Unit, in collaboration with colleagues Jillian Anable from the University of Leeds and Craig Morton at the University of Loughborough, the paper explores how plausible changes in the way we travel might reduce energy use and emissions in Scotland over the next three decades, in light of the 5-year carbon budgets up to 2050 and beyond.

“Our study explores how Scotland might achieve these targets in the transport sector. We find that both lifestyle change – such as making fewer and shorter journeys, sharing existing journeys, or shifting to walking, cycling and clean public transport – and a comprehensive strategy around zero emission technologies are needed, but that they have limits to meeting our CO2 targets, in particular beyond 2030″ explains lead author, Oxford Scientist Dr Christian Brand. End of quote.

This is Scotland they are talking about.? Scottish winters can be a tad harsh, not the place for cycling, walking or electric vehicles that have vastly reduced range when the heater is used. If you are going to be caught out by the weather, a car with a heater that will run until your tank runs dry is vastly to be preferred over the other options.

And as for ‘shorter’ journeys; London and the south coast etc are not moving north so journeys from Scotland are going to be the same length in the future as they are now.?Quote.

The findings suggest that, only through prioritisation of both demand – (lifestyle, social and cultural change) and supply-side (new technology) transport solutions, might we have a chance of curbing carbon emissions in line with the United Nation’s 1.5C Climate Change Agreement. The co-benefits of such change to human health and the NHS are enormous. End of quote.

Yes, indeed. Once people freeze to death, they are no longer a burden on the NHS. Outside the box thinking!?Quote.

“The newfound urgency of ‘cleaning up our act’ since the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2016 and Dieselgate scandal suggests that we cannot just wait for the technology fix,” says Dr Christian Brand.

Traditionally governments have prioritised technology fixes and supply-side transport solutions to the carbon emission problem.

However, the authors suggest that a long-term carbon and air quality emission-cutting strategy should consider both demand- and supply-side transport solutions, for the best chance of success.

Change will need to be led by consumers, policy makers and industry alike, they say. End of quote.

Will it be a big surprise when consumers decide that they prefer the convenience of fuel based cars over cycles, walking, buses etc?

Will it be a big surprise when consumers decide that they prefer the range of fuel based cars over electrics?

Will it be a big surprise when consumers decide that they prefer the lower upfront cost of fuel based cars and the longer life without replacing expensive batteries??Quote.

“We need to look at how we can inspire and support consumer lifestyle changes – in travel patterns, mode and vehicle choice, vehicle occupancy – to be in with a chance of reducing our carbon emissions in line with legislated targets and travelling on the ‘Road to Zero’ faster, further and more flexible.” End of quote.

The ‘Road to Zero’ – Sounds exciting; James and Julie better get on a plane and zip over to Scotland for an urgent fact-finding junket.? (I’ll happily pay for their one-way ticket.)

Is the road to zero the same as the road to nowhere?