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1. Number Of Cars Worldwide Surpasses 1 Billion; Can The World Handle This Many Wheels?

The number of cars on the world's roads surpassed one billion last year, according to a study that has spurred debate on what the rapidly-growing car population will mean for the world's economy and environment. According to a report from Ward's Auto released last week, the global number of cars exceeded 1.015 billion in 2010, jumping from from 980 million the year before. Not surprisingly, China led the way in vehicle growth, with the number of cars on Chinese roads increasing by 27.5 per cent, amounting to half the entire global growth. That gives China the world's second largest car population, with 78 million vehicles. But the United States still constitutes by far the largest vehicle population in the world, with 239.8 million cars, the Ward's study reported. In fact, China would have to increase the number of cars on its roads nearly sixteen-fold to equal the number of cars in the U.S. on a per capita basis. Ward's reports that there are 1.3 people for every car in the U.S., while in China there are 6.75 people per vehicle. If China were to have as many cars per capita as the U.S., its fleet alone would amount to approximately one billion cars. But while China's car population has been exploding, the U.S. has seen a less than one per cent increase in its vehicle population, roughly in line with most developed economies.

Earlier this year, the OECD's International Transport Forum forecast that the number of cars worldwide would reach 2.5 billion by 2050. According to a seminar from Daniel Sperling at UC Davis' Institute of Transportation, a vehicle population of 2 billion would require the world to produce at least 120 million barrels of oil per day, up from about 87 million today. Given the slow depletion of conventional oil sources and the gradual move towards more expensive alternative sources such as the Alberta oil sands, it's not clear the world could develop such a large capacity to produce oil. Transportation "currently accounts for 23 percent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions," Brad Plumer writes at the Washington Post. "And most of that unconventional oil is significantly dirtier, from a CO2 perspective, than the traditional stuff. If people in the developing world keep buying vehicles ... then simple upgrades in fuel-efficiency alone aren't going to be enough to stop a steady uptick in global temperatures." In an analysis published two years ago, Sperling noted that while "Beijing alone now adds nearly 1,500 cars to its roads every day," China's rapidly evolving economy makes the country ideally suited to lead the way in developing alternative energy vehicles. Calling the country a "hotbed of innovation" that is "well positioned to respond to internal demands and international initiatives," Sperling pointed out that China is working on small

"The bike is better to get around in Beijing. "Cycling is a miniscule thing.http://www. with its massive size and economy. "What China can do.” said B." Tongji University professor Pan Haixiao said. “Cycling is a miniscule thing. . along with the rapidly growing economies of India and Brazil.html 2. At the same meeting. That’s not the future.” Chaturvedi told the nearly 800 attendees." B. Yet China.K." Source . Chaturvedi of India's Planning Commission said. and is developing innovative public transit systems. some Europeans urged a 21st century renaissance in bicycle transport. The number of cars and light trucks globally is projected to triple from the current 850 million to 2. a professor at Tongji University in China." Sperling and co-author Deborah Gordon a member of India’s Planning Commission.” said Pan Haixiao. but bicycle use is dropping fast due to poor air quality and the danger from car traffic. European speakers urged a renaissance in the use of bicycles as an alternative to cars. are leading the world in increased demand for cars. And these countries often express resentment when they perceive efforts to curb unsustainable growth as being unfriendly to their development. Chaturvedi. But representatives from China and India pointed out that their populations are currently in the process of shedding their bicycles in favour of more sophisticated transportation.K. according to the International Transport Forum’s (ITF) Transport Outlook 2011. is imposing "aggressive" fuel efficiency standards. officials from leading Asian nations told the 2011 International Transport Forum in nearby Leipzig that their citizens want more cars. “The bike is better to get around in Beijing.electric cars. with electric and electric-assist bikes for personal health and the health of the climate. “We in India need to provide more roads and rail. is foster these ideas until they are fully developed and then launch them abroad. At this year's International Transport Forum. "That's not the future. Bike vs Car on a Hot Planet Stephen Leahy BERLIN. That growth is projected to be almost entirely in the developing world. Jun 6 2011 (IPS) .5 billion by 2050.As global carbon emissions hit record-high levels last year. but bicycle use is dropping fast due to poor air quality and the danger from car traffic.huffingtonpost.

that have not been included in their estimations. told the conference. The advent of lithium batteries with improved capacity-to-weight ratios now means electric bikes or e-bikes are ideal for trips up to 15 km at speeds of 25 km/hour. Even in Europe. president of European Cyclists’ Federation. . The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last week that humanity cannot exceed annual emissions of 32.0 Gt or it will be impossible to achieve the internationally-agreed target of below two degrees C of global warming to avoid very dangerous levels of global warming. carbon emissions would decrease by 2. and particularly electric-assist bikes. with its very good public transit system. Transport is the second leading source of carbon dioxide emissions. the ITF report projects that carbon emissions from the transport sector will likely grow 250 percent by 2050.Richer countries are actually reducing the personal vehicle use in the last few years. offer an important. the European Cyclists’ Federation sponsored the “Charter of Seville” last March in Spain.0 Gt could be reached by the end of this year.bikes but they do not receive anything like this support.5 gigatonnes to the 30. Neun said.4 million tonnes per year in the Netherlands. Neun was critical of Germany’s recent announcement to invest two billion euros to put one million electric cars on the road by 2020. Even with significant improvements in fuel efficiency and wider use of electric vehicles. Scientists also caution that there are feedbacks in the climate system. The Dutch Cyclists’ Federation reported that if all car journeys up to 7. contributing about 7. such as the potential for large releases of carbon from melting permafrost. Manfred Neun. That would amount to roughly 19 Gt annually from transport alone. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ITF is an intergovernmental organisation for the transport sector involving 52 different nations. Representatives from 47 countries called on all ministers of transport to recognise the benefits of cycling. Lack of infrastructure such as separated bike lanes keeps bikes from wider use. about half of all car trips are six km or shorter. Bicycles. Scientists warn that to have a 50-50 chance of staying below two degrees C. To change this.5 km would be replaced by cycling trips. practical solution for mobility and significant carbon emissions reductions. IEA acknowledges that 32. he said. and to invest substantially in cycling in their own countries. to promote cycling at the international level. carbon emission growth must flatline by 2015 at the latest and start to decline by three percent per year. Germany already has one million electric vehicles in the form of e.6 gigatonnes (Gt) emitted in total in 2010. Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a long time – emissions from the 19th century are still contributing their small share to current and future warming.

To increase bike use. “That is why governments are often eager to build new roads because that means more miles driven and more fuel tax revenue. a former mayor of Bogota. Source .http://www.” Leunig said.” said Enrique Peñalosa. Peñalosa started Bogota’s famous car-free Sundays where no cars were allowed in the entire city of eight million. there is enormous pressure from car owners and the construction industry to build more roads even though cars already use more space than all other modes of transport combined. Colombia.” said Peñalosa. There is another reason most governments do not take bicycle transport more . he said. president of the Korea Transport Institute. the tax system will have to change. he said. States are dependent on major revenue streams from taxes on fuels. It would increase the social status of bike riders. said Kee Yeon Hwang. pointed out Tim Leunig of the London School of Economics. “Protected bikeways ought to be a right.ipsnews. To make the shift to other modes of transport. South Korea is planning bicycle highways – clear plexiglass tubes elevated above highways where commuters could easily ride 20 km into work protected from rain or wind. However. “We have over 500 kilometres of bikeways – some 60 kilometres that are for bikes and pedestrians only.