Cities are facing a problem like never before. Due to a growing number of people living in urban areas, the amount of vehicle emissions is on the rise. Recently, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made an announcement that global warming is expected to reach 1.5℃ by 2030. So we have a little more than 10 years to make drastic changes in the way that we are treating our environment.
Our planet cannot survive if we continue with our old transportation habits. Cities around the world will have to react to this situation and fast since exhaust emissions are one of the largest greenhouse gasses that are harming our environment. And here are just some of the ideas on what the cities and their citizens can do to reduce vehicle emissions.
Avoid Driving Whenever Possible
Driving less or not at all seems to be the optimal solution to this situation. The cities must promote walking or biking whenever it’s possible. In order to do that, they can offer free bikes for people living in the most polluted areas.
Another possibility is to improve public transport and encourage people to use it more frequently. Even though this kind of transportation is not without any emissions it is far less than it would be if each of the passengers would go individually in a separate vehicle.
Moreover, cities could support transporting organizations like ride-shares instead of Uber or a taxi.
And finally, nothing works better than a rewards system. With the help of our smartphone devices, it is now easy to track the number of steps we take on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Any city that wants to encourage people to go by foot more, can offer a reward in the form of reduced taxes for a certain number of steps.
How You Drive Matters
Everyone with a driver’s license knows how to drive. But most drivers don’t know that the way they drive affects the environment. By driving efficiently we can reduce emissions and save money on fuel. Don’t hit the gas pedal and breaks too hard. By going easy on them you could save fuel more than you realize.
Promote Eco-Friendly Vehicles
Any city or country that wants to make a change regarding vehicle emissions, could start by supporting more eco-friendly vehicles.
This can be done in several ways. The local government could have special regulations for people buying electric cars, plug-in hybrid electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, etc. People who opt for these vehicles could be rewarded with a special discount on some annual taxes.
Another way to lead the people in the right direction would be to impose additional taxes for people who are driving cars with high-levels of exhaust emission. Therefore, it would cost more to drive a car that pollutes the environment. This might be received with some disapproval from the public but it would result in more and more people who would turn to walking, cycling or driving eco-friendly cars.