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Urban transport Essay

The urban transport is largely dependent on oil without it this transport industry might collapse. Some studies done have shown that the energy consumption in the transport industry is growing annually at a rate of about 8% (Yokota & Sobel, 2008). In a country like China, vehicles consume more than 30% of the total oil consumption and by the year 2020 this consumption is expected to rise to about 57% (Yokota & Sobel, 2008). While in Europe, the road transport sector consumes about 60% of the total consumption of petrol annually (Social group).

This therefore shows that the dependence on oil by the transport industry is extensive and growing. Some analysts have argued that with the large dependence on oil by the urban transport a time is coming when it will be impossible to sustain the global demand since it is growing at a faster rate than its supply (Kilsby, 2006). Peak oil will change the urban transport greatly. With peak oil, the price of oil will rise up as the demand increases and many motorists will not be able to afford it since the economy is not growing at the same pace as the inflation in the oil prices.

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Transport will become expensive for most people and this will therefore lead to more people preferring walking, cycling and other forms of transport to get to their destinations (Ratcliffe, 2007). People will become more careful in the way they use their cars by avoiding unnecessary and long distance journeys. In addition, with high oil prices food will become more expensive in the urban areas because of increased transport expenses and hence many people will adopt cheaper means of transport in order to save enough money for purchasing food.

Furthermore, peak oil will lead to more explorations and utilization of new energy sources for the transport industry to cater for the deficit in the oil supply. There will more technological advancement in the oil extraction processes and in the exploration of new energy sources. Many companies will invest huge funds in the exploration of new energy sources and in making the extraction processes for oil and other energy sources more efficient and effective. Peak oil will transform the urban transport industry by reducing the large dependence on oil.

Many automobile industries will become more innovative thereby resulting in the production of more automobiles that are energy efficient and those that utilize other sources of energy such as biofuels, water among others. Climate change Urban transport is affecting the environment adversely through pollution. Studies done have shown that urban transport produces about 40% of all emissions of carbon dioxide from the road transport and close to 70% of the other pollutants excluding carbon dioxide from the transport sector (European Commission, 2007).

Consequently, the preference to use of private transport by most people in the urban areas is constituting greatly to the pollution. This can be attributed to the much carbon dioxide emission from the people using private cars. From researches done, analysts have discovered that the carbon dioxide emission per kilometer from private transport is about 150g per person while in the public transport it is about 25g per person (Yokota & Sobel, 2008).

This therefore shows that urban transport is one of the largest polluter of the environment as more people prefer private transport means in the urban areas and because of its extensive pollution it will lead to climate change. Climate change may lead to more frequent and continuous episodes of El Nino in the urban areas as was observed in 1970s (Bulkelley & Betsill, 2003) and this will be a hindrance to the urban transport industry. People will not be able to move from one place to another by vehicles because of much flooding.

More boats will therefore be used and hence will become the best preference means of transport for the urban population. In terms of speed, boats which carry a large number of people are usually slower means of transport and will therefore lead to more congestion in the urban transport. Furthermore, drought and famine will become more frequent and extensive in many parts of the world (Bulkelley & Betsill, 2003). With food scarcity as a result of severe drought, food will become expensive thereby changing the lifestyles of most people in the urban areas.

A large number of people will be forced to adapt new lifestyles which are cost efficient. Public transport will therefore become the preference means of transport since it is cheaper than private transport. The frequency in the usage of public means of transport such as trains, buses, among others will become more intense and this might lead to an increase in the passenger fares. To control the adverse effects of peak oil and climate change to the urban transport, governments will be forced to formulate new policies and measures that govern the urban transport.

The policies and measures put in place will enhance the preservation of the environment by reducing pollution and encouraging more technological innovations in the transport industry (Socialist Group). This will therefore enhance the reduction in the dependence of urban transport on oil and encourage the usage of other energy sources such as biofuels, water, and other appropriate energy sources. Furthermore, these policies will reduce the usage of private transport and foster the use of public transport.

They will restrict the usage of private cars and encourage walking, cycling and other forms of public transport such as buses, trains, among others. In conclusion, climate change and peak oil will not lead to the collapse of urban transport but will transform it greatly. The current urban transport consumes a lot of fuel, with an increase in the fuel prices sustaining it will be impossible. Increase in the fuel prices shows that the supply is lower than the demand as oil is running out.

This will therefore lead to the transformation of the current urban transport to one that is fuel efficient and environmental friendly. Currently, vehicles using hydrogen are being utilized but are few in number because of the difficulties experienced in the manufacturing and utilization of hydrogen (British Broadcasting Corporation). In spite of this difficulty, it is a step forward in the urban transport transformation as more vehicles using other energy sources such as hydrogen and biofuels are being invented and utilized.

Hydrogen and biofuels produce little pollution compared to other energy sources (British Broadcasting Corporation). Utilizing these energy sources will reduce environmental pollution and therefore reverse the process of climate change. Consequently, the innovation of vehicles using hydrogen is evident that the transformation in the transport sector has begun and will continue. The transformation will lead to the designing and implementation of new urban infrastructures.

Reference List

British Broadcasting Corporation. Science. Retrieved May 21 from http://www. bbc. co. uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/edexcel/oneearth/fuelsrev_print. shtml Bulkelley H. and M. Betsill, (2003). Cities and climate change: urban sustainability and global environmental governance. Edition: illustrated. Routledge: London. p. 1. European commission, (2007). Transport. Retrieved May 21 from http://ec. europa. eu/transport/clean/green_paper_urban_transport/public_consultation_en. htm

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