Zero Carbon Transport: Vision For Lagos

Transport offers many benefits in terms of freedom, independent mobility and accessibility.Yet this comes at a cost such as air polluting emissions that contribute to climate change. In Lagos, Buses, Mini buses, cabs, tricycles, motorbikes, airplanes and trains are available platforms for transportation.

It is widely accepted that transport is one of the main drivers for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and a changing global climate. Globally, transport was responsible for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in 20064.

Ministry of Transport, LASTMA and other related agencies have exhibited dedication as we can all see through various mass transit facilitation (BRT, LAGBUS ,etc) and traffic management structures. For appropriate transportation ,there are two key challenges i.e. the reduction of oil use and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.

Firstly, transport is extremely dependent on oil and there is a likelihood that there will be not be much oil left in 2050 compared to today. Secondly, climate change raises important issues around re-engineering transport systems so that they are less vulnerable to the damaging consequences of climate change and can play a full role in reducing greenhouse gases.

A ‘carbon footprint’ measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organization, event or product. Th e carbon footprint of transportation is a very important factor and should be constantly in focus for the sake of climate change mitigation by emission reduction. Carbon footprint of transportation is signifi cant for consideration for the sake of contributing to save our planet and thus explains mass transit investments but people need to see the needlessness of putting their cars on the road. Implementing a carbon neutral transport program is an ideal aspiration because of the multiple benefits and this should be jointly embraced by the public and private sectors because they are both culpable emitters of carbon via transportation.

Amongst the ways towards carbon neutral transportation are First, by aiming to reduce carbon emissions by communicating climate change on broad spectrum basis so the people can be Eco-conscious to make Eco-friendly transportation decisions.

Second, by aiming to introduce initiatives that will have a dual impact in terms of air pollution and carbon reduction, Reducing pollution driven by older polluting vehicles, will have an invaluable impact on health and social well-being and the scope of coverage of the emission policy should include industrial power houses and machineries.

Third, through carbon capture by activities towards protection of forest areas with the goals of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection while achieving important development objectives. Forests provide invaluable ecosystem services and are the key to maintaining healthy water resources, functions.

Consortium of transport companies should be coordinated to fund tree planting schemes as discharge of their corporate social responsibility. Authorities need to direct the attention of corporate stake holders in the transport industry to treesponsibity which denotes environment responsiveness. By supporting tree planting. Airlines, logistic outfits, fleet operators, cab operators and tricycle operators can be targeted through their trade associations.

There are a number of strategies being adopted across the world to reduce the carbon impact of transport. These include measures to introduce better traffic management with the aim of influencing more fuel efficient driver behavior, encouraging better management of freight operations (e.g. minimizing empty freight truck movements through better coordination), replacement/upgrade of freight fleets and encouraging the uptake of more fuel efficient passenger vehicles. There are indeed a selection of strategies that could be applied (e.g. congestion management, speed management, traffic flow smoothing etc.)

Some countries have adopted a ‘greenway’ approach to highway and road development (where landscape around road projects is protected so as to maximize on the value of non-monetary benefits of the landscape – i.e. recreation, ecotourism, ecosystem conservation etc.). [Building on these concepts, a carbon neutral transportation corridor would include systems to both reduce carbon emissions (through energy efficiency and cleaner fuels) and off set carbon emissions (through sequestration and conservation projects), seeking no net gains in the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.

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