07 - fact sheet

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How can we reduce carbon emissions from transport?
Passenger cars contribute 15% of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions. Transportation in general contributes 23%, and these figures are expected to increase as traffic grows. Radical changes in the way people travel are one way to meet UK carbon reduction targets. But to be acceptable, strategies for reducing carbon emissions from transport need to take into account people's lifestyle constraints. Dr Abigail Bristow, from the University of Leeds' Institute for Transport Studies and the Tyndall Centre, is leading a team of researchers exploring how technology, policies and people's behaviour must change to reduce carbon emissions from passenger cars over the next 20 to 50 years. The research team will review the current levels of carbon emissions from personal travel, the projected trends, and the expected impact of various policy changes on people's travel behaviour, in order to establish the cuts in carbon emissions required to reduce the rate of climate change. A range of possible ways forward will be explored - for example, a switch to hydrogen-fuelled transport; a major switch away from cars towards walking, cycling and public transport; and reducing the need to travel by moving facilities nearer (either literally or through telecommunications). The researchers will interview focus groups and households to identify the transport and land planning strategies most likely to move people towards a low carbon future with the least cost and disruption. The results will enhance our limited understanding of how households will need to adapt to achieve the changes necessary to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars. The study will address key questions regarding the acceptability and possibility of adaptation in the short- and long-term, providing guidance for policy makers by investigating strategies that are most likely to facilitate such adaptation.

Changes in technology, transport policy and people's lifestyles will be required to reduce carbon emissions from passenger cars. A Tyndall project is investigating how best to change travel behaviour. More information Contact the lead investigator of Project IT1.7 (Behavioural response and lifestyle change in moving to low carbon transport futures): Dr Abigail Bristow Institute for Transport Studies University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK Phone: +44 (0) 113 233 5342; Fax: +44 (0) 113 233 5334 Email: Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr Miles Tight, Professor Anthony May, Dr Haibo Chen, Ms Alison Pridmore, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds Dr Frans Berkhout, Ms Julia Hertin, SPRU, University of Sussex Project duration:

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IT1.07 - fact sheet

October 2001 to November 2003 Useful web sites: The Tyndall Centre: The Institute for Transport Studies at Leeds University: Traffic and transportation information: Transport 2010 - the UK Government 10-year plan: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Carbon Calculator:

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