The experts have weighed in, and in order to minimize the irreversible damage being caused by climate change, the United Nations has set a decarbonization target of 45% reduction by 2030.
This process will involve major change throughout the economy, but some areas will be more difficult to transform than others. Particularly, industries within the transportation sector are notorious for their contribution to greenhouse gas pollution.
In order to meet decarbonization targets, we need to focus on more than just the automobile industry. We must also research and incentivize decarbonization efforts in commercial aviation, freight, and railroad industries.
Here are 5 essential steps toward meeting decarbonization targets in these challenging industries:
Continue the Process of Converting to Electric
In the past 10 years, electric vehicles have become increasingly easy to make, and therefore more accessible to the average consumer. It is safe to say this trend is going to continue.
But in order to meet decarbonization targets fast, it’s important that we accelerate the process of converting to electric transportation.
According to the International Council for Clean Transportation, “To incentivize the production and adoption of electric vehicles, we need to focus on policies including fiscal incentives, infrastructure investments, consumer information, and more stringent fleet-average reduction requirements.”
The sooner we back this revolutionary technology with funds and political action, the sooner we can reduce our total reliance on fossil fuels.
Changing an entire industry is difficult. But changing the individual corporations that compose an industry is a little easier.
The most effective way to induce change in these difficult industries is to enact laws that enforce decarbonization targets. Under these policies, corporations that do not comply can be penalized for harming the environment.
Another way corporations can be held responsible for their impact is through carbon offsetting. This is when an industry compensates for the emissions it produces by donating to projects that reduce an equivalent amount of emissions elsewhere.
Crack Down on Black Carbon Emissions
Black carbon is a particularly harmful form of air pollution that contributes substantially to the greenhouse effect. In order to reduce this pollutant within the transportation sector, cracking down on diesel engines is necessary.
Commercial vehicles, large trucks, and buses are major producers of black carbon. Local and state governments can help fund the conversion to more energy-efficient engines, especially in the areas of public transportation.
This particular industry is important to focus on because carpooling can help reduce individual fuel consumption in cities. But in order for public transportation to become the most effective alternative, it needs to be less reliant on gas-guzzling engines.
Fund the Development of Energy-Efficient Technology
Energy-efficient technology does not come out of nowhere. It is built upon years and years of research, and like everything else in life, this research needs to be funded.
By investing in the development of energy-efficient technology, we can unlock solutions to some of the biggest industry pollutants.
For example, by investing in aerospace research, we can continue to discover alternative propulsion technologies and safe aviation fuels (SAF). When we understand more about how these green processes work, we can more reliably implement them across difficult industries.
Promote and Maintain Energy-Efficient Buildings
The future of technology is exciting, but it is important not to overlook the impact of the infrastructure we currently have.
A significant amount of greenhouse gas pollution is caused by inefficient office buildings, factories, and other industry facilities. This is especially true in older buildings that rely on outdated technology.
It’s important for the transportation industries to also invest in energy efficiency improvements in their existing buildings and machinery.
Even small changes can add up and result in major improvements across the industry – and ultimately get us closer to our global decarbonization targets!
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