The recent global climate agreement in Paris had two clear messages that will affect how we travel.(NOTES: This article originally published Feb 25, 2016 on the NationalObserver.com: READ ARTICLE. Also full size versions of the main infographic are available: IN KILOMETERS : : IN MILES )
First, nearly 200 nations agreed it's critical to limit global warming to a maximum of +2C. To do that there is only a challengingly small amount of climate pollution humanity can still emit – our 2C Carbon Budget. Even a very generous share of the global 2C Carbon Budget means Canadians and Americans will need to average around one tonne of CO2 per year over the next several decades from on all personal transportation. Currently we travel around 20,000 km per year. So a rough rule of thumb for 2C-compatible travel is to choose options that can take people 20,000 km or more per tonne of CO2 (tCO2).
Secondly, the nations of the world decided against creating any legally binding global rules or targets. Instead it was left to the collective voluntary actions of societies and individuals to do the right thing.
So in the spirit of the Paris climate agreement, I created an infographic that lets Canadians and Americans see how far different transportation options can take us on our 2C travel budget. It shows a large number of options to choose from, and allows quick comparisons between them. The ones that meet or exceed 20,000 km per tCO2 are shown in green.
I've been researching, charting and writing about travel emissions for many years. I read everything I can find on it, from technical data sheets to annual reports. I'm a data pack rat on this subject. And still, this infographic took me nearly a month to research, organize and create. My goal has been to provide people with something I've not seen before: a single graphic that allows travellers to easily and accurately compare the climate impacts from common transportation options. Hopefully you will find it informative and useful.
Choosing 2C Travel -- Infographic
Here, then, is the full infographic. Click it for a full size version suitable for printing, sharing or shredding … depending on how you feel about our 2C travel challenge. The big dots show average occupancy. The little dots for cars show different occupancy options. Green colour marks options that meet or exceed our 2C travel challenge of 20,000 km per tonne of climate pollution. A detailed explanation follows....Click here to continue reading the full article at the National Observer