Christian Brand, Evi Dons, Esther Anaya-Boig, Ione Avila-Palencia, Anna Clark, Audrey de Nazelle, Mireia Gascon, Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen, Regine Gerike, Thomas Götschi, Francesco Iacorossi, Sonja Kahlmeier, Michelle Laeremans, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, Juan Pablo Orjuela, Francesca Racioppi, Elisabeth Raser, David Rojas-Rueda, Arnout Standaert, Erik Stigell, Simona Sulikova, Sandra Wegener and Luc Int Panis.
Active travel (walking or cycling for transport) is considered the most sustainable form of personal transport. Yet its net effects on mobility-related CO2 emissions are complex and under-researched. Here we collected travel activity data in seven European cities and derived life cycle CO2 emissions across modes and purposes. Daily mobility-related life cycle CO2 emissions were 3.2 kgCO2 per person, with car travel contributing 70% and cycling 1%. Cyclists had 84% lower life cycle CO2 emissions than non-cyclists. Life cycle CO2 emissions decreased by −14% per additional cycling trip and decreased by −62% for each avoided car trip. An average person who ‘shifted travel modes’ from car to bike decreased life cycle CO2 emissions by 3.2 kgCO2/day. Promoting active travel should be a cornerstone of strategies to meet net zero carbon targets, particularly in urban areas, while also improving public health and quality of urban life.
Brand, C., Dons, E., Anaya-Boig, E., Avila-Palencia, I., Clark, A., de Nazelle, A., Gascon, M., Gaupp-Berghausen, M., Gerike, R., Götschi, T., Iacorossi, F., Kahlmeier, S., Laeremans, M., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Pablo Orjuela, J., Racioppi, F., Raser, E., Rojas-Rueda, D., Standaert, A., Stigell, E., Sulikova, S., Wegener, S. and Luc Int Panis. 2021. The climate change mitigation effects of daily active travel in cities. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 93: 102764. doi: Opens in a new tab10.1016/j.trd.2021.102764
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