Chapter 11: Transport and the environment
Transport has been essential in the development of the post-industrial society. Modern lifestyles and the economic growth of the last decades have relied extensively on the fact that transport enables people and goods to move fast, long distances and at affordable prices. These new patterns of mobility are, however, becoming increasingly associated with impacts on the environment. The transport sector is one of the main sectors responsible for the increase in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the subsequent impacts on climate change. Moreover, demand for transport and travel behaviour choices together with the increase in transport infrastructure have been associated with other environmental impacts such as the increase in air pollution and noise exposure, changes in land use, fragmentation of habitats or effects on biodiversity and wildlife among others (EEA, 2009). This chapter examines the transport sector’s impact on the environment and the challenges in moving towards a more sustainable transport system and to low carbon mobility. The first section examines how and to what extent the transport sector has negative effects on the environment.
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