Modes of transportation are an integral part of our daily life. They are necessary for the economy to transport goods and people. It is difficult to imagine life without a car to go to work, go on vacation or travel for leisure. Yet, everyone is aware of the pollution generated by these modes of transportation.

Environmental impact of transportation

It represents about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2. In recent years, only transportation and domestic heating have increased their CO2 emissions while all other sectors (energy production, industry, etc.) have reduced them.

Emissions of pollutants hazardous to health from transportation have been decreasing overall. Emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC’s) and carbon monoxide (CO) are decreasing, but emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) are still a problem.

Apart from that, transportation is noisy.

Ask yourself the right questions

Whatever mode of transportation is selected, it consumes energy and generates pollution. Undoubtedly, the best behaviour is to use the least polluting mode of transportation when the situation allows.
Asking yourself the right questions often helps in taking the right decision:

• Do I really need my vehicle for the trip that I  am about to make? Is there no public transportation? Is it not possible to walk?
• For the majority of journeys that I make, what is the most suitable car? Which fuel should I select? What is its environmental impact? What are the CO2 emissions of my vehicle?
• How to consume less fuel? How to adopt economical driving habits? Which tyres must be selected according to the season?

Government actions

Government is taking actions to reduce this impact:

• technical regulations (CO2, pollutants, heavy metals, etc.),
• financial incentives (premiums, taxes) have an influence on the choice or use of the vehicles.
• Some engines and machineries are considered being off road vehicles having to meet the emission limits for polluants