As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, we need to be aware of the significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is transportation. According to EPA US (Environmental Protection Agency), transportation was responsible for 27% of the total U.S. GHG emissions in 2020. With cars, buses, trains and all being viable options, it is crucial to evaluate the CO2 impact of different transportation options. In this blog post, we will explore the various transportation options and their corresponding CO2 impacts.
Let’s Check Cars
Cars are a ubiquitous mode of transportation globally, providing convenience and comfort to millions of people. But, their widespread use has significant environmental consequences. Cars release harmful pollutants such as CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution and global warming. The amount of CO2 emissions is influenced by factors such as the car's engine size, fuel efficiency, and distance traveled.
According to US Department of Energy, the annual emissions of a gasoline car is 12.5 pounds, a hybrid car is 6.9 pounds, and an EV is 2.9 pounds.
Let’s Check Flights
Flights, whether domestic, short-haul or long-haul, have a significant environmental impact. Aircraft emit various greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), but also nitrous oxide (N2O), water vapor, and particulate matter. Plus, they can have other environmental impacts, such as noise pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer.
According to US Congressional Budget Office, CO2 emission of air travel per passenger per mile is 0.34 pounds. Short-haul flights produce more CO2 emissions per passenger than longer flights because planes take off and land more frequently, which requires more fuel.
Let’s Check Public Transportation: Buses and Trains
Public transportation emits less CO2 per passenger than cars do, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.
According to US Congressional Budget Office, a bus produces 0.39 pounds of CO2 per passenger per mile and a train produces 0.30 pounds of CO2 per passenger per mile.
But, public transportation is not without its drawbacks. It may not be as convenient as driving a car, and it may not be available in all areas. Plus, public transportation can sometimes be overcrowded and uncomfortable. According to the statistics, we can sort the modes of transportations from the most sustainable ones to the least as electric vehicle, train, air travel, bus, and gasoline car.