Climate Change -The Transport Challenge

Climate Change -The Transport Challenge


Thank you very much it is a real pleasure to be here in Dublin to talk about: Sustainable transport. Transport is – personal transport, personal mobility – is hugely important. Economists know that it drives economic growth in the UK we’ve had various famous examples of politicians telling the unemployed to “get on their bikes” to find a job. And we also know that it drives personal wellbeing and this is one of my favourite pictures because to me this is a picture of efficient transport and these people look really happy. They are going somewhere they want to go. So this is an important image. Transport drives personal well-being and economic growth and we’ve got to learn to do it sustainably and we’ve got to do that urgently. We often say in England and you probably do here “every little helps” we need to remember that every little helps a little. This is an agenda where we need to change some big numbers and the new phrase that we all have to use has to be “every big helps” and I’ll show you some big numbers. First of all let’s remind ourselves why this is so important. There is a high probability that CO2 produced from our activities on the globe is heating the globe up and indeed if we continue to do what we are doing today there’s a high probability that global average temperatures by the end of the century will rise as much as 4 degrees. Parts of Europe will be 8 degrees warmer. That’s places like Southern Spain. That’s not far away places. It’s places many of us go regularly on holiday. London could be 12 degrees hotter on the hottest days. London is pretty insufferable in the middle of summer as it is London at 50ºC would be totally insufferable and indeed many people would die. Food production in many of the wheat bowls, the food bowls of the world would be dramatically reduced and a large proportion of the global population would suffer water shortages. 40% of the world’s population on 3 litres of water a day. For some of us who are used to using water rather more luxuriously that’s a bath a month and that’s a life I would find very difficult. So the very best of our scientists tell us that we need to cut global emissions by something like 50% by 2050 to try and keep temperature rise globally down to about 2 degrees. We haven’t got a cat in hells chance of keeping it much below that if we are lucky we can keep it to 2 degrees and we can probably find ways to adapt to an average rise of 2 degrees. That means 22 gigatonnes of global emissions by 2050 and if there are 9 billion people that means that if we divide those emissions fairly, equally per head and I don’t know any other fair way of doing it that would give us 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per annum each. And that’s what we’ve taken in the UK as our target for 2050 we’ve said we’re assuming equal shares and that means we have to deliver an 80% reduction in our CO2 emissions against a 1990 baseline. My calculations based on a population here of 4.4 million suggest that it’s roughly the same here it come out at about an 82% cut in emissions by 2050. We tend to think that 2050 is the end of the story that if we get there with our 50% global emissions reduction and our 80% emissions reduction in developed countries that we’ve done it that we’ll have won. Let me also remind you that the pressure goes on because by 2100 we’ve got to have halved emissions again so by 2100 we have to be down to 9 gigatonnes of global emissions. These are some big changes they’re some big numbers We’re going to need some new technology and some big changes in behaviour. This is the scale of our challenge in the UK most of our emissions the largest proportion of our emissions are at the bottom come from electricity generation, second largest is domestic transport and then there’s heat and industrial processes and the pink band just before the top is non-CO2 greenhouse gases. In the UK that’s mainly agriculture. So we’ve got to get that 679 megatonnes down to 159 megatonnes and that’s about a 76% cut from where we are today but an 80% cut from 1990. If I look at the same data for Ireland then it’s similar but different the most of your emissions the largest proportion of your emissions come from agriculture That’s actually particularly challenging. But the second largest is jointly energy and transport at about 21% of your emissions and you need to get those down to about 11 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2050 assuming my calculations are right and assuming you have a population of about 4.4 million. So a similar picture but with perhaps some different emphasis but transport is still a very dominant feature. Road transport: something that’s important to all of us. Globally contributes about 14% of emissions in just about every rich country it’s the second largest contributor to emissions I estimate it’s probably about 19% of your 21% here. In the US it’s as much as 33% of their annual emissions and we have almost a billion vehicles on the planet at the moment and they already use more than half of global oil production. We have almost a billion vehicles on the planet today but by 2050 if everybody had as many cars as the Americans do we’d have nearly 6 billion cars and of course we want the developing world to get richer so it’s not an unreasonable expectation to think that we may by 2050 have 2 to 3 billion cars on the planet. And I don’t think anybody would suggest that this Indian family didn’t deserve the same kind of safe and secure personal transport that I’m sure most of us benefit from. We’re also going to see a lot of changes in relation to where people live. We already have on the globe more people living in cities now than live in the countryside. According to the United Nations predictions by 2050 the urban population will be the same as the total global population today and indeed some of the predictions suggest that some 70% of those 9 billion inhabitants in the world will be in the rich and middle class category. So there’ll be the people that have aspirations to one or more cars for their personal mobility so cities are going to be hugely important as we go forward. And our vision I think for cities has to be that they’re cities where the temperatures are liveable, where the skies are clear and the air is clean, where they are safe where they are not overwhelmed by road noise but also where our prosperity and our wellbeing is enabled by personal mobility. And so I would suggest to you since I come from Birmingham that we don’t want Los Angeles we want the beautiful blue skies of Birmingham to be something that everybody can expect. In the UK and again the picture is quite similar in many developed countries the biggest part of our road transport challenge is cars or at least light duty vehicles car and vans make up about 70% of our transport CO2 emissions. Let’s explore that challenge in a bit more detail. By 2050 we’ve each got these 2½ tonnes of CO2 and we need to decide what we’re going to do with them because that has to be everything we need. That’s the food we eat, that’s our bathwater, that’s our cars, that’s our houses, that’s the industry we need to support us, that’s our electricity generation- everything. The average new car in the UK today is somewhere up between 150 and 160 grams of CO2 per kilometre So you drive at a fairly average distance and you emit 2.4 tonnes of CO2 That’s the scale of the problem. Your car today probably emits your entire CO2 allowance for 2050. So that’s the scale of the change we have to deliver but let’s add some more challenge to that in the UK since the 1950s we have driven further and further every year. It’s almost linear. Atually it’s a very interesting plot because you can pick out rather nicely periods of recession. And I would suggest this is a good predictor of recession because this showed by 2006 -7 we were already starting to drive slightly less far in the UK than you might have expected. So this may be my way of telling the economists we have new ways to predict recessions coming but despite that as you can see after recessions we suddenly drive more so it recovers. So there is this relentless upward trend in how far we drive every year and that’s not particularly British. Here is the picture globally and you can see the growth of urban drivers but you can see from the 1960s onwards a relentless trend of increasing mileage driven. Here’s a third part of our transport challenge
and that’s the vehicle ownership bit that I referred to before. We have almost a billion cars today some people are predicting by 2020 we will have 2 billion cars I think it is more likely that by 2030 we will be well on the way and by 2050 we may be on the way to 3 billion cars. Of course developing countries like India and China are the places where growth in car ownership is occurring extremely fast but if you look at European countries in the OECD, North America, Latin America car ownership is still growing rapidly and the predictions are to continue rapid growth over the next 20 years or so. The fourth part of the challenge is: where do we put those cars? This is a picture of a city, it is a real city and the white bits are the bits that we as humans get to use some of them we get to share with the cars because they are roads the paler blue bits are all surface parking and the deeper blue squares are all multi-storey car parks. That’s Albuquerque New Mexico if we are not careful this is where we will all be living in 20 years time. I think we might want to reclaim our cities for people rather than vehicles at some point. And of course all the space that those cars take up leads to my fifth challenge for transport which is congestion. Research at MIT suggests that in congested urban areas almost half of the fuel people use is used as they hunt for parking spaces and indeed more recent research shows that actually if you look at the carbon intensity or the energy intensity of urban transport it’s double that of travelling between cities. So congestion in cities takes us back to the fact that that is driving increasing CO2 emissions. And as we’ve heard in the introduction the story here in Ireland is the same as it is in other developed countries. These are plots of the CO2 emissions from different sectors of your lives in Ireland with agriculture, energy, transport, transport the line indicated by the 2 blue arrows and as a result of all those factors I’ve been talking about transport has been, right up until the recession recently, transport has been the one that has been moving up and up and up in terms of emissions and as we’ve been told up 156% increase in emissions from transport. So reducing emissions in transport is absolutely critical and a real challenge. So let me tell you then something about some of those very big numbers. If we want to get to an 80% reduction or an 82% reduction let’s not argue about a couple of percent by 2050 but we’ve got numbers of cars, journeys and mileage increasing we’ve also got some sectors of our economies where achieving 50% reduction is going to be really hard. Agriculture is an area particularly obviously challenging for you here in Ireland agriculture is an area where I think many of us cannot see how we are going to get to 50 or 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. Aviation is another area where there really is no pathway to 50 or 80% reduction in emissions. So what that means is that areas like road transport, surface transport and energy are going to have to play a much more than their fair share in these radical reductions in emissions. They are going to have to over achieve and in fact for cars we’re probably needing to think about: how do we achieve a 90%? A very big number – a 90% reduction in per kilometre emissions from cars by 2050? Now 2050 sometimes sounds like it’s a long time away but I run a university and I remind myself every year that my graduates have working lives of just over 40 years. So my graduates are going to have to deliver I hope as leaders of business and industry are going to have to deliver this 80% reduction in emissions. They are going to see extraordinary changes during their lifetimes’ and I hope that they’ll be very positive ones. But it’s the working lives of my graduates from now ’til 2050 and I think that’s a useful way of thinking that it’s not actually that long a time. So let’s again think about some of those big numbers we have a billion cars today we might have 3 billion cars in 2050 we’ve got to reduce CO2 emissions globally by 50% so we’ve got to achieve at least a 5/6th reduction in per kilometre emissions globally that’s 83% reduction. And again some sectors are going to struggle to achieve a 50% reduction so energy and transport are likely to have to over achieve. let me remind you that’s a very big number to be achieved over the working lives of today’s graduates. So how are we going to do it? Well we are going to have to do it in three ways: we are going to have to have very efficient people that’s a lot of behaviour change, we are going to have them living because they mostly will be living in cities in very efficiently designed cities and we are going to have to have very efficient cars. So these are not efficient people clearly the efficient people are on the bus! One of the things we looked at in my review for the UK Government was what we could achieve by changing the behaviour of us as drivers, of buyers of cars. One of the things I think is most positive and most exciting is that actually today if we could only persuade people to buy the best vehicle the lowest emissions vehicle in the class they want to buy we could save between 25 and 40% on new car emissions. And similarly if we could persuade them to choose a smaller car we could save even more. Here, from 2009 I think, this is the CO2 emission ranges of the classification of vehicles that we use. The dark green bars show the range of I’ll call them usual cars in each category. The black line across the bar actually shows the average car that people buy and the grey-green extensions down to zero CO2 grams per kilometre are where there are electric vehicles or where last year there were electric vehicles available which was the Smart for 2 electric vehicle in the Mini category and the Tesla sports car in the specialist Sports car category. But if you ignore those because they are rather special and not many people have them you could see that if you bought the lowest emissions car versus the average purchased car in each category then there is a range of emissions reduction between 42% and about 25% that’s achievable on models that are out there in the showrooms today. So if we can persuade people to change their behaviour we can already capture a huge improvement. And there is a strong indication in the UK that some of the Government’s measures combined with the recession have made people start to think about that so in 2009 the only areas of car purchase which showed an increase were the mini and the Supermini category. I think you can claim even better performance here in Ireland because I took from one of your SEI reports on the internet this chart that shows these I think are new car purchases in the two lowest emissions categories green at the bottom and the blue one so that’s up to 140 grams per kilometre and you can see over the past 10 years this rapid rise in purchase of cars in those lowest emitting categories. So we are starting to get the message across and it’s encouraging very encouraging to see it happen. But of course it’s not just the car you choose it’s the way you drive it, it’s the speed you drive at and whether you drive at the speed limit or not. It’s how courageous our governments are going to be in reducing and enforcing speed limits If on the motorways in the UK we reduce the speed limit to 50 miles an hour we could get a 20% fuel saving it wouldn’t be popular but it does save a lot of fuel and a lot of emissions. If we could persuade people to walk to school or to the supermarket or to share cars there’s even more to come. I think it’s not unrealistic to say there is a very big number opportunity here which is that there’s something like a 50% potential reduction in CO2 emissions from cars available today with no technology at all and of course it would save people 50% of their fuel costs. Of course government departments know that this is economically rational but very hard to achieve. But in general our environmental awareness in the transport area lags that in other sectors we’re still attracted to big cars because we think they’re symbols of status. We don’t really look into the future at fuel costs savings and indeed when we start to save money on fuel we start to spend it on driving further. The rebound effect is a very well researched phenomenon. So we need efficient people and there is some interesting data that suggests that certainly our car buying habits are starting to change. But we need efficient cities and North America has some very inefficient cities Calgary being one of them where 90% of trips are made by car. Asia has some very efficient cities Hong Kong absolutely stands out at being less than 20% of trips are made by car and Dublin I’m afraid I have no idea. But this is a plot that shows you the percentage of journeys taken by car against the GDP per capita and Hong Kong, London and Calgary are all on roughly the same line in terms of GDP per capita and you can see how Hong Kong absolutely stands out as being a city where very few trips are made by car. Indeed I was in Hong Kong last week they tell me this is wrong they tell me they only make 10% of trips by car. There were a lot of cars on the road so I’m not quite sure I believe them. How you design a city and how people in that city behave has a big impact on car usage. We’ve done some modelling on the Committee on Climate Change looking at city growth and it’s very very clear that if you can grow cities by compaction rather than by dispersal. Dispersal being that North American model where you continuously move further out and you build those elegant gated communities but they don’t have enough people in them to sustain any kind of cost effective public transport at a reasonable frequency so you drive more and more car use. Where as if you fill in gaps leave the countryside around the edge to enjoy fill in the spaces in the city you can grow a city quite significantly with relatively little in fact in some cases with no increase in car usage and you are also much more likely to be able to sustain a cost effective public transport system. So governments need to use carrots and sticks they need to have policies that will give them dense cities and the carrots are going to be that you have frequent subsidised clean and secure public transport and the sticks are going to be that you have high vehicle tax, high fuel prices, congestion charging, very expensive parking all sorts of things that are going to put you off using your car or having a car in that city. Those are again challenging things for governments to do but we elect governments so we have to be prepared to elect governments who will do challenging and potentially unpopular things. The third part of this is that we have to have efficient vehicles and that’s what I’m going to talk quite a lot about. The really positive thing actually is that we can improve the efficiency of internal combustion engine ICE vehicles by about 50% The internal combustion engine is going to be with us for some time to come. We can make vehicles lighter so reduce their inertia, we can radically improve the aerodynamics particularly the under body aerodynamics, we can put on low rolling resistance tyres that can give you an immediate 3-4% improvement in fuel economy and of course we can make significant changes and improvements to the power train. Typical petrol engines in cars are delivering levels of efficiency in terms of their use of fuel of only somewhere around 15% so there is an enormous amount to go at and I think there’s now plenty of evidence and analysis that says internal combustion engine vehicles can improve in efficiency by 50% and here are a range of the options that you can now buy on cars on cars in the showroom. And when I was doing the King Review in 2007 & 8 these were just coming in they’re now becoming fairly standard so stop-start in those days was a novelty stop-start with regenerative braking is really now quite common and a stop-start with a regenerative braking in an urban environment can produce something like 24% improvement in fuel economy. So well worthwhile paying a few hundred pounds more on the price of your car. So let’s do some more simple arithmetic: a billion cars today, 3 billion by 2050, let’s say the emissions today are X if we didn’t improve those cars we would have 3X emissions in 2050. Those areas 1 and 2 of efficient drivers and efficient cities might just about give us a 50% reduction in emissions so that would get us back down to 1.5X. And if we made those cars 50% more efficient that would half that again that would get us to 0.75X but our target is to get to 0.5X. A 50% reduction in global emissions reduction so we have to go beyond the internal combustion engine if we are going to achieve the kind of improvements that we absolutely have to deliver. And the options of course are that we can use biofuels, that we can use electricity, that we can use hydrogen, or that we can change behaviour even more than I’ve envisaged already. We can do something really really radical but I think that’s unlikely to happen. I’m going to suggest to you that biofuels are interesting but at the moment quite dangerous. We really haven’t yet cracked how can we feed 9 billion people and produce biofuels for 3 billion cars? I think we will or for at least for some proportion of those cars but we haven’t done it yet and we need a lot more research and development in that area. Hydrogen is certainly going to be a fuel of the future but again we haven’t found ways yet to make it and to distribute it in an energy efficient way. The thing we can start to do now is using electricity to power vehicles but whilst that’s what I’m going to talk about I want to just emphasis we are going to need all of these solutions. This is not one solution is better than the others when we have 3 billion vehicles we’re going to need a diversity of solutions there is no point in exchanging a dependence on oil for a dependence on lithium or a dependence on something else. We’re going to need a diversity of solutions if we’re going to have a sustainable future. But let’s talk about electricity – primarily ultra-low carbon cars. Cars over the next 40 years are going to undergo a fairly radical transformation: we’re going to move from mechanical drive to electric drive, from internal combustion engines to batteries and electric motors and we’re going to move to having cars which are very much more connected with the information environment around them. And here are some examples: a luxury car such as the Jaguar Limo-Green, the small university car we have the one which says Aston University on it, which is a Smart for 2 electric vehicle and one of the small family cars in the new range of Renault-Nissan electric vehicles that are coming out over the next year or so. One of the things a lot of people say about electric cars is actually with the high carbon electricity systems we have they aren’t really any benefit. Well I’ve done my best to get the numbers right in the UK the carbon intensity of electricity generation in the UK at the moment is running at just under 500 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour and in Ireland I think it’s about 530 from the latest report I could find so it’s not very far away. If we take a typical family car petrol car of 160 grams per kilometre the blue line at the top If we take an old Toyota Prius and a new Toyota Prius we get the green band obviously those 2 are completely independent of the carbon intensity of grid electricity because they are fuelled by fuels that don’t come from grid electricity. And if we say well how would an electric car perform? Well clearly if grid electricity had zero carbon emissions so would our electric cars fuelled by that electricity. But as the grid emissions go up our red line rises
and what we would see is that if you could buy one for an electric 4-seater family car medium sized in Ireland today you’d be slightly better than an old Toyota Prius but not as good as a new one and in the UK you’d be almost as good as a new Toyota Prius. So it would still be a pretty efficient car even though those are pretty high carbon electricity systems. And what we absolutely have to do in developed countries if we are going to meet our carbon targets is we have to decarbonise electricity generation. So in the UK electricity generation is 26% of our annual emissions and our modelling on the Committee of Climate Change says that by 2020 we’ve got to get down to about 300 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour and by 2030 we need to be down below 100 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour if we are going to meet our targets in the Climate Change Act. Here in Ireland I say I think you’re about 523 grams at the moment and if you meet your EPA scenario of a 31% reduction by 2020 that’ll take you down to 369 grams. So where does that take our electric car? Well it moves us from these 2 arrows labelled 1 down to those 2 arrows labelled 2 you’re the mauve one and I’m the blue one. And that would take you well below the emissions from a Toyota Prius and indeed would deliver something like a 50% reduction from an average petrol driven car today. And as you can see with the arrow labelled 3 with our 2030 modelling in the UK if we can get down to about 90 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour in our electricity system we’ll actually have achieved in an electric car
a 90% reduction in CO2 per kilometre from an average petrol driven car today. So these are big numbers but they aren’t unrealistic. So I’m a huge fan of electric cars as you can probably tell but there are lots of concerns about them and they all have some reality in them. First of all people think they aren’t a low carbon alternative I hope I’ve demonstrated to you that they’re pretty efficient today and by 2020 they will be a very low carbon alternative. The second area is range anxiety: at the moment batteries are very expensive and very large so yes the vehicles around today don’t have very long ranges typically they’re up to about 100 miles in fact and yes they do take a long time to charge if you slow charge them which is the most efficient way to do it they take about 6 hours. People think they are going to overload the electricity system and of course people are concerned about the fact that as a new technology they are actually very expensive. But let’s look at that issue of range. If you had a car that only went 100 miles before you had to charge it. Well actually in the UK 97% of the trips we make by car are less than 50 miles and that accounts for 77% of CO2 emissions. 99% of trips we make are less than 100 miles
and that mauve coloured box at the bottom of all the bars on this diagram is commuting. We could easily do almost all our commuting in the UK in an electric vehicle and save very very significant levels of CO2 emissions. And it’s not just something we do in the UK. Here’s some equivalent data from the United States. The UK is a small island the United States is a big country but 80% of people in the United States drive less than 50 miles a day and strangely if you look at data for France and you look at the data for Germany it’s actually all very consistent. There’s some kind of distance of about 50 miles a day which is what most of us think is enough there seems to some almost innate human desire not to have to drive further than that every day. Just taking the “how do we behave?” a bit further BMW recently completed a trial of 50 BMW Mini E’s, electric Minis in Berlin and they compared the behaviour of the drivers of those electric Minis with the behaviour of the drivers of normal Minis and 1 Series BMWs so they had an equivalent number of drivers driving petrol and diesel fuelled cars of the same size. And what they found was that actually the Mini E drivers drove slightly more drove slightly further every day than their non-electric vehicle driving colleagues. They had a 200 kilometre range and 90% of users said this was sufficient. And we’re all worried about range anxiety that every time you saw a socket you could plug your car into you’d charge it but what they discovered was that when people became confident with their cars they couldn’t be bothered to plug them in and they charged them on average once every 3 days. So that’s what this shows you that the average is that people charge them on average once every 3 days but every couple of days was extremely common. It’s also interesting data because it tells you that all our concerns about the kind of charging infrastructure you’d need are rather challenged by this a majority of drivers never used public charging stations. They really liked to charge at home preferably
and at work was their second favourite place for charging. So before we cover our cities with electric vehicle charging points we should recognise that most of us would charge at home or at work. And we’re doing currently a similar pilot in the UK in Birmingham and actually driver behaviour is remarkably similar to this. So is it really going to cause us problems in terms of electricity generation? Well here’s another set of back of the envelope calculations and I hope I’ve got the numbers roughly right. You in Ireland can generate I think about 41 terawatt hours per year of which you’d use about 22 terawatt hours per year typically. Well if an electric vehicle battery stores about 25 kilowatt hours of energy and if you all had electric vehicles all 2 million private cars in Ireland then that would store about 50 gigawatt hours and if you behaved like the Mini drivers in Berlin and you charged them fully every 3 days that would be 6.1 terawatts hours per year
that would be 15% of your current generating capacity. Now the challenge there is not to increase your generating capacity by 15% The challenge is to deliver 2 million electric vehicles! These really are quite small proportions of generating capacity and the numbers if you take the 30 million cars in the UK you get almost exactly the same calculation that you would need 15% of our current generating capacity. But of course and apologies this isn’t Irish data it’s UK data if we charge them during the night-time dip between about 11 o’clock at night and 6 o’clock in the morning we could probably charge 50% of them without needing any additional generating capacity at all. And then of course there is the real issue of cost. Electric vehicles do currently cost something of the order of 10 to 15,000 more than an equivalent petrol vehicle today. Of course the car industry has had a hundred years to cost reduce the internal combustion engine it’s only just starting to cost reduce the electric vehicle. The UK Government is trying to address this by offering price support of £5000 a car starting this year. Other policy approaches I think could be very helpful would be enabling us to buy or to lease ultra low carbon cars from our pre-tax salaries because actually for a number of years we’re going to need this kind of support. But I think there’s every confidence that battery prices are going to fall very fast in the future and that actually they could be 70% cheaper with technology maturity. And our calculations our modelling on the Committee on Climate Change says that by 2020 an EV will actually be a lower cost solution to your mobility needs than a petrol or diesel engine vehicle when you look at it on a through-life cost basis taking into account the cost of fuel. The biggest challenge we have is the speed of change. In the UK we’re trying to encourage the Government to adopt a target of 1.7 million electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2020. That would need to be 17% of new cars sales and it would be 5% of the UK car fleet. The reason we’re trying to get them to adopt that kind of target is that 10 years later we need to have reached 60-85% of new vehicle sales being ultra low carbon cars if we are going to meet our 2050 targets. So here are some big numbers this is not a matter of “every little helps” this is a matter of us making big changes happen. But we really do want that vision of cities we can live in with clear skies and clean air which is safe and quiet and full of prosperous and happy people. And I’m a great Dilbert fan but I don’t think this is one of his best ideas! And I’d like to say thank you very much to all sorts of people who’ve been an enormous of help to me over the last few years while I’ve been working in this area. And I’d just like to leave you by saying if you want to find the King Review it’s on the Treasury website and if you want to find our reports from the Committee on Climate Change and there are lots of reports subsequent to these 2 then they’re on the Committee on Climate Change website. So thank you very much. I notice towards the end there you were talking about £5000 advance from the Government to subsidise the car and presumably road tax and possibly other financial incentives will be there as well? Behaviour is determined by its consequences isn’t it? And if you don’t put in green taxes you’ll get a certain proportion of people who will take on this agenda but you won’t get the mass behavioural change without giving people the incentive. Yes we already have zero road tax for vehicles with emissions of less than 130 grams per kilometre. So electric vehicles come into that category and we have in the UK an office of low emission vehicles called OLEV which works between government departments and between national and local government. and the idea of OLEV is to try and bring all the LEVers together. So it’s to try and incentivise people adopting ultra low carbon vehicles by both the rebate system, the tax, looking at things like zero congestion charge in London for drivers of low emissions vehicles. Looking at thing like free parking being offered in city centres, use of bus lanes by drivers of ultra low carbon vehicles bringing a whole range of incentives together to try and meet a target for really stimulating both the industry in the UK but also the uptake to reduce emissions. And every city might be different isn’t that so and size of city would vary? Bus lanes now has that been tried anywhere? No that hasn’t been tried yet and of course one has to recognise that these are things that are temporary incentives. Because as people start to take up the vehicles in significant numbers obviously some of these early concessions would need to be withdrawn and when you bring them in you’ve got to think about how you are going to take that out again as well. And yet that scarce road space that is the bus lane is under used. That’s also true isn’t it? If you put three people in a car or four some cities in America do that that’s another possibility. Yes question here I’ll favour the person with the microphone Hello this is Stephen Wood from Stephen Wood Consultancy. Obviously very eloquent and very convincing but can I ask have we maybe missed an opportunity because you talked and you showed the slide of the city and the space given over to the cars so where are these cars going to park and we are still going to be left with congestion? And surely the whole transport planning aspect of planning our cities has to be given due weight and we need to be careful we’re not giving the message that technology will solve our cities. I absolutely agree with you I think that you can see that we need both the technology and the planning and the encouraging us to change our behaviour. The numbers are so big that if we only have one or two elements of that we are not going to succeed. So absolutely it has to be all of those things. And I think there is some very interesting modelling work for example Chris Borroni-Bird’s book about the future of the automobile looking actually at city cars being very small electric vehicles that might take up on average about half the space of a current car. And actually giving us back some of the pavement space and the road space and the green space that’s so important in our cities. Yes. Hello Professor King my name is Mark Rafferty Director of GoCar car sharing we’re Ireland’s only car sharing operator and I just noticed in your slide you had a mention of €¦ Where do you operate? We just launched in Dublin and we’ve been operating in Cork for the last 2 years I just noticed on one of your slides when you were talking about behavioural changes you had car clubs. So we are quite behind the UK in terms of this so I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about how successful they have been in the UK and what contribution they are making to CO2 emissions to do with private transport? I think the most data for how successful they’ve been is coming from the United States at the moment. They are growing in use in the UK particularly in London but still not at a level where we can really look at where they make a significant impact on CO2 emissions. That doesn’t mean then they are not a good thing you know that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be promoting them we absolutely should! I agree with you. So it’s very hard at the moment to find data that you can put into modelling to show the kind of take up rates we might expect and the impact they would have but there is beginning to be some coming out of MIT. What has actually happened in Cork, you say you’re in Cork for 2 years? So you’re in Cork for 2 years with cars available to people who subscribe to this rather like the Dublin Bikes presumably. Very similar concept in the sharing capacity of them but in terms of data what they do for what you’re talking about in terms of changing habits is the data shows that each car sharing car replaces about 8 private vehicles so alleviates the need for private car ownership. It addresses a lot of these issues less car parking spaces are needed in the city because people are sharing the cars. It also changes people’s habits as in they look at public transport and walking and cycling and things like that as a first option and then when that doesn’t suit them they use in our case a GoCar but in other cases whatever services they use. It gets you away from using your private car as your first point of reference when you want to take a journey it addresses a lot of the issues that Professor King just brought up. Ok. Somebody with the mike there … Hello my name is George Averil. I’m a private citizen at this stage. First to thank you for your talk Professor King it was very interesting. But you haven’t mentioned you don’t seem to have placed emphasis on public transport in particular rail transport in the context of suburban commuter travel in the context of intercity travel and for freight if you would care to comment? Clearly rail transport is very important, I mean it’s hugely important in the Southeast of England in bringing people in and out of London. But if you look at one of my earlier slides where the emissions come from emissions from rail in the UK account for something like 3% I think of our transport emissions. So if you are looking at: how are we going to radically reduce emissions? You’re looking at: how do we radically reduce emissions from cars? If you look at the economic arguments that relate to replacing private cars or radically increasing the rail infrastructure there is very little economic argument that says you increase the rail infrastructure because it’s such an expensive capital investment and because we, certainly in the UK, we struggle to run our railways at particularly good profit margins. From a social agenda point of view rail investment I think is hugely positive and we should be encouraging people to move from private transport to rail. But when you start to look at the economic case for very major infrastructure investment in rail versus the economic case for much lower emissions private vehicles the economic case for the infrastructure investment is not strong. So it’s going to be a difficult decision for governments to take I think clearly it’s part of the overall picture but it’s also hugely important to look at: how do we radically reduce the emissions from cars? Somebody with the microphone … Can you hear me? Raoul Empy engineer. My question is just with the electric vehicle grant system. In Ireland we’ve essentially copied the UK where we’ve got up to €5000 off an electric vehicle.
The difference being that we don’t manufacture cars in Ireland. Now this grant it only works for cars in the M1 classification so quadricycles, for example, don’t warrant a grant. What do you think of the quadricycles? They’re more energy efficient they’re smaller cars, so surely these should also get grants to encourage people to take them up? They’re certainly more energy efficient and cheaper but I think the consumer probably might ignore buying one if they can get a grant for a more mainstream bigger car. I suppose my personal concern is one of safety in that if you compare the electric Smart car with some of the quadricycles it is actually a vehicle that meets all of the European safety requirements. And having been taken round London in one of the quadricycles it is quite frightening the feeling that you might get stuck between two very large lorries and they might not even notice you were there. I think there are some safety concerns but I do think they are an important part of the mix and I think they will be an extremely important part of solving the emissions problems in some of the Asian countries. In China in particular they are already manufacturing them they’ve just opened a plant which is going to be putting out 200,000 a year. I think the electric bicycles are also a very interesting option and it’s very interesting to see that La Poste in France the French postal service has gone to an all electric philosophy and has started putting battery assist on postman’s trolleys giving postmen electric bicycles and it’s now just bringing in a large fleet of electric delivery vans as well. And one of the things they seen very very positively has been a reduction in absenteeism and work related injury from the postman using the electric assist trolleys and the electric bicycles because actually their work is no longer so strenuous. I do think all these things have their places but maybe a quadricycle wouldn’t be my first choice in the centre of a large city with a lot of traffic! In the post office too the journey length is a known quantity just as the bread vans in this city were electric they were the first electric battery vehicles. Yes? Somebody with the mike over here. Hi Andrew Fleury Transpoco we make GPS tracking software. I’d like to ask through your studies what have been your findings in relation to GPS tracking? My own opinion is that it offers a number of facilities to introducing initiatives to reduce mileage driven but obviously there are concerns over perceptions of data protection violations and that sort of thing. I’d just like to know what’re the findings in relation to data protection? I think that it’s a hugely interesting area it’s one of the areas I think hasn’t really been explored enough. If you really wanted to get the kind of behaviour change we could move to time, distance, place based road charging indeed vehicle occupancy and emissions based road charging which would have a very radical effect on emissions. But there would be a huge issue about the state or the company dealing with the charging knowing an enormous amount about you and where you were. And potentially whether you were with people or not and I think that’s a challenge that I see governments not really yet feeling ready to address. And do you think the change of government in Britain has made that more likely or otherwise? I think our previous government would have found it a very sensitive area to address and I think our current government will find it a very sensitive area to address. That’s a fifty-fifty answer which of them would be less likely to address it? When you talk to politicians about these things it is a hugely sensitive area and I don’t actually think it’s particularly party dependent. I suspect our previous government was slightly stronger on central control measures which this fits slightly better with than the current one. But we have some passionate supporters of the carbon reduction agenda in both governments. Am I right in saying that Ken Livingstone who of course is a very controversial politician. But that his charging for road space in inner London that people now believe that it works? and that it is fair or am I wrong about that? As somebody who has a flat in London which was inside the extended congested charge zone which has just been repealed, certainly those of us who live around where we are thought it was a fantastic development because it really has reduced traffic and it has reduced parking in the areas where we live. I’m not sure the shopkeepers on the roads around us have quite the same feelings. But in general the people who live in London think it’s been a great idea and it has had an enormously beneficial effect on car purchase decisions because the number of Toyota Priuses you see driving around London is out of all proportion actually to the amount of money they save on the congestion charge. But it certainly has driven the purchase of low carbon cars in a very positive way. Yes. OisÃn Coughlan from Friends of the Earth, Professor King thanks for a talk that was fascinating, alarming and inspiring in equal measure. You mentioned you were a member of the Climate Change Committee in the UK and I was wondering could you say a little bit about the impact of that established under the UK Climate Act? You may know that our outgoing Government published a Climate Change Bill recently and there was some controversy over the targets and whether they were more demanding than other EU targets and what the consequences of that will be. I understand the UK Committee advised the UK Government to set its targets at a higher more demanding level than was required under the EU 2020 targets. So perhaps why did you do that? And a word more generally on what you think the role of the Committee and the law will be in driving the changes you think are required to achieve the emissions reductions we need. It’s a difficult challenge in advising government on this because our Climate Change Act actually has the 2050 target of at least an 80% reduction. We then have a pathway to 2050 which we do through a series of 5 year carbon budgets which the Committee recommends to the government. And in our very first recommendations we were looking to set a set of budgets for a situation where there was no global deal at Copenhagen and a set of harder budgets that should be moved to once there was a global deal. Of course we didn’t get a global deal at Copenhagen and we didn’t get a global deal at Cancun and there were changes in European targets that were going to follow on from that global deal as well. So we are now saying to the UK Government “Okay we haven’t a tightening of European targets or a global deal but we still have a 2050 target in legislation which we believe we need to aim for€ . And unless we start going for some tougher budgets targets we won’t be on the path to the 80% reduction in 2050 and the longer we leave it to make the changes all of the modelling suggests the more expensive it will get to do it. So there is a strong economic argument that says investing now in addressing some tougher targets en route will actually get us more cheaply to the 2050 targets. Difficulty of course with that is we don’t elect anybody to govern us ’til 2050 and governments particularly in a recession where in the last quarter we’ve seen the UK economy shrinking it is understandably very difficult for our politicians to keep focused on the fact that spending now will make it cheaper to get us to 2050. So I have a sympathy for them but I hope they will respond to our suggestion we should have some tougher targets. Question here yes? Two questions one is that regarding CO2 that in the mixture on CO2 in air which we breathe is approximately 0.03%. Now if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increased it means that you upset the balance of air which we breathe and the result is that if there is too little we will gasp to get oxygen and if there is too much we will go sleepy. And the fact that CO2 is heavier than air that anything producing CO2 is floating around beside us that’s just one question. The second one I wanted to mention too in your talk about fuels you didn’t mention ethanol from sugar beet and I’m very interested in the production of ethanol from sugar beet. What are your views on these two points? The first one on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere the kind of levels we are looking at I don’t believe are levels even at the “business as usual€ level moving out to 2050 we’re still looking at levels 450 to 650-700 parts per million. I don’t believe those are levels of CO2 which will start to affect us in terms of our respiratory systems. But that’s not my area of expertise and if there’s anyone in the audience who can give us a better view on that I’d welcome their input. In terms of ethanol it came into my category of biofuels ethanol from sugar beet I am sure there are instances where it may be a sensible thing to do with sugar beet but in general as we move towards 2050 and needing to feed 9 billion people properly the only sorts of biofuels that are going to be sustainable are those I think that can be made from waste because we’re going to need all of the good agricultural land to be producing food products rather than fuel products where we have alternatives for the fuel. But I think the routes where we can separate the protein and use the waste the routes to biofuel where we can use waste food or we can use waste from cities or the routes to biofuel where we can use sewage as a route to generating biofuel I think will all be important we haven’t yet cracked doing those things at the kind of scale that makes them a global transport fuel. But there will be local regions where that may well be a regional, a very sensible local, solution so we may well have visions for cities where cities are surrounded by anaerobic digesters and waste pyrolysis plants which are producing bio-hydrogen and bio-methane which can then be used to run the bus service or indeed run the dust carts in the city and that may well be a good local solution. Thank you for that point, just making a point about the sugar beet industry in Ireland which has closed really. Thank you very much for your contribution There is of course blue skies thinking on a lot of this and different countries and experts in different places are attempting solutions some of which of course would be commercially applicable if they were successful Isn’t that right? So a breakthrough is always possible and one size may not fit all as well? We need lots of breakthroughs and in a way I think some of the competition we have between technologies and solutions is actually very healthy because a degree of stimulating people to prove each other wrong I think actually generally gets scientists and engineers to deliver things we perhaps weren’t expecting and that’s very positive. Yes with the microphone there. Thank you Professor King. Tom Bruton is my name. I represent the Irish Bio Association you’ve started to touch briefly on the topic of biofuel. Certainly looking out to 2050 there’s a lot of challenges ahead but we’ve very short term policy target which by 2020 we have to reach 10% transport fuel displacement with biofuel or electric vehicles from fossil fuel and the vast majority of that is probably still going to happen from biofuel in the short term. I like the example of the electric vehicles were introduced in the Aran Islands a couple of weeks ago and the question is then asked well the car or the truck that brought the vehicles down to Galway and the boat that brought them out to the Aran Islands both ran on diesel and they have no alternatives at the moment to the fossil fuel they’re putting in their engine. So the question is: where are we going to get all this biofuel without importing it? And do you see a particular application for biofuels there because electric vehicles are only going to solve a smaller part of the problem? Thank you. I think there will be a role for biofuels as I’ve said I think they will in general as we get further out be biofuels that need to be made from wastes of various kinds and potentially biofuels that come from the growth of algae rather than biofuels that take up land for food farming. You are absolutely right the electric vehicles may be a very good solution for the passenger car end of the spectrum but as we move to large vans and into lorries and ships and indeed aircraft we’re going to have to find different solutions and one I think as we go out to 2050 the area where we will I think up end up using most biofuel will be in aviation because the rates of growth of aviation are predicted to continue to be enormous and there aren’t alternative technology solutions available. There is improvement in efficiency but it isn’t the levels of 50% and given that aircraft lives are of the order of 25 years and aircraft and engines design lives are often longer than that we haven’t actually got much time for turnover of technology in aviation. So biofuels if we are going to be able to maintain anything like the growth rates in aviation we’re seeing at the moment they are going to be an enormous user of biofuels. I’ll take three more questions yes … Thanks very much for your talk and indeed all the responses to the questions. James Nix Irish Environmental Network Can Plan Better. Just a two-part question In the first place do you see an increasing crossover with transport policy and healthcare? We see massive increases in obesity rates particularly child obesity I think in some schools in Ireland it’s almost a third of children now are either overweight or obese and I just didn’t see a tie-in and I’m wondering do you see a tie-in and do you see it growing? Second part then is if active travel will play a greater part I’m talking about walking and cycling is there work done in the UK and what percentage it will rise to? What kind of numbers are you looking at? Thanks. It would certainly be good to see that kind of systems thinking going on to link the opportunities for walking and cycling to the improving health. And whilst we do see some of that in the UK and perhaps the fact that we can buy bicycles out of our pre-tax income through a government scheme is a small part of that I think we don’t see enough of it. It would be good to see much more joined up thinking between politicians and bureaucrats in different government departments. In terms of modelling the increase in take up of cycling and walking there has been some work done in the UK in the initiative to look at sustainable travel planning. We had a number of sustainable travel town pilots where people went to every household in the town and explained to them where the cycle routes were, where the buses ran from, where they went to, where the nearest station was, where the train timetables could be accessed. And they saw significantly increased uptake of public transport and cycling and after 3 years I think, a persistent reduction in road traffic of about 4 or 5%. And we have tried to encourage the UK Government to roll out that pilot further and to look at sustainable travel cities but unfortunately that was one of the things that got cut in the budget cuts. So that’s not something we’ll be seeing and there are some NGOs in the UK people like the Commission for Integrated Transport who unfortunately have also gone as part of the budget cutting who have done some studies of that sort but I don’t think that there’s an enormous amount of data I’m afraid in that area. When permission is being given or when something is being built say like a light rail system within a city. I know that doesn’t happen that often but I know there were one or two Norwegian cities where cyclists can put their bicycles on the back of the tram free. That sort of initiative anything which helps the cyclist is positive isn’t it? But it needs to be done at the beginning. If you have the mike I’m pointing at you … In order to get here I had to travel 100 miles and some days I travel 500 miles so battery is not very attractive to me. I regret that. I have here the equivalent of your MOT in Ireland our NCT Test and what it actually shows is that the introduction you may be familiar with the magnet technology but with that it shows that we got a 50% reduction in emissions. We actually also got a 15% saving in fuel but with the lowering of surface tension of fluids meaning diesel, petrol, gas, why aren’t these devices being promoted heavily? And I’ve been at an SEI meeting, Sustainable Energy Ireland meeting, and I’ve actually been accused of being a snake oil merchant. I’m asking the question a straight way: have you an interest in this? The question is how can we in the interim trying to move how can we get useful technology like this promoted? And just very quickly on the battery side of it in 1930 Nikola Tesla who gave us this alternating current here had an electric engine put into a substantial car and he had no batteries at all but he had very clever technology so I am wondering I am asking the question here: are we being had into another game to extract more money out of us? Because I think the technology is there to do away with batteries, thank you. – And I think you’re right. – I should be fascinated to hear how you are going to store the energy if you’re not going to be using either a battery or a conventional fuel of some kind. But if there is a solution to that we’ll all be very pleased to hear it. Richard Walsh from Alternative Biofuels Ireland I’d just like to welcome Professor King here tonight and thank you for a very informative presentation. There are a number of points I’d like to make and pick up on some of the biofuels points that were made here this evening. Your presentation mainly focussed on electric cars which I welcome however the portfolio is much bigger I would suggest that you won’t get more than 5% take up on the electric cars and it doesn’t really serve Ireland’s CO2 targets. We need a much bigger hit to meet those targets we’ve a target of 60%… Do I hear a question coming? The point I want to make on the sugar beet we did lose the sugar beet and biofuels especially ethanol. And the UK actually is not moving in the direction of France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Sweden and I’d just like to make that point to you that ethanol is being promoted heavily in these countries and Stockholm in particular is leading the way in public transport as regarding the conversion of its bus fleets. So I think it would be advantageous that when we are making presentations that we look at holistic lessons learned from other countries so that was just a point I make. The second point I want to make is that there is a misconception€¦ A question please. The question I have actually is that would you like to comment on the fact that Ireland doesn’t produce one mill-able tonne of wheat in the last 4 years and why would we be labelled that there is an issue with biofuels in this country when there is not? There will always be local solutions that are appropriate in particular places. In Brazil they have a fairly sustainable situation with some of the bio-ethanol produced from sugarcane. But there is always a danger with transport fuels that global demand is such an enormous global market that there is always the temptation that you cut down more rainforests to expand the area where you can grow the sugarcane. So you know I think the Brazilians with the right legislation can have a sustainable local bio-ethanol economy for cars. I worry that if it becomes an international transport fuel we will see more of the forest being removed. But I think local solutions can be very effective I don’t know enough about the agriculture in Ireland to know what local solutions might be effective for you. But in almost every location, in almost every city some kind of carbon containing waste to energy plants are a good idea and in particular as I say anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis which can take waste as diverse as sewage and food waste and excess whatever. Excess sugar beet if that’s what it is and turn all of those into bio-methane, hydrogen, other kinds of biofuels that can be used for power generation or vehicle fleets. I agree they can be good local solutions. Final question. Thank you.Good evening Professor Seeing you’re from Manchester and Birmingham it is interesting that we have a country that had similar populations to Manchester and Birmingham and so many government officials running it; I think the government officials are very often spoken to and guided by the academics who with absolute respect talk a lot of balderdash and bull. So what we’ve got here is some smart people talking about bio-energy conservation of power of use of vehicles, electric vehicles are a great idea but actual reduction of number of people 90% have a car carries the car and 1% of it carries the person inside the car. So we’ve got this nonsensical situation€¦ The question is why do we not listen to the people like the bio-energy people I’m a landowner a producer I’ve a choice to make do I grow sugar beet, do I grow willow, do I grow miscanthus, or do I grow food? And there’s 50 contradictions and a heap of balderdash spoken with every respect there’s my point. There’s an easy question to conclude with now! Well I wouldn’t be foolish enough I’m afraid to try and advise you on what you should grow I just don’t know enough about the local markets and the economy I’m afraid. On that point I’d like to thank very much our speaker tonight Julia King she has an excellent ability to use the three little words that my wife keeps telling me are the second three most important words “I don’t know”. She thinks I don’t use them enough! Thank you very much indeed Julia.

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