What if every country promoted electric cars like Norway, reforested like Costa Rica, promoted cycling like Holland, invested in renewable energy like Paraguay and ate a vegetarian diet like many people in India?  Could this solve our climate crisis? 

So begins a post by Neil Kitching who blogs at www.carbonchoices.uk . He expands on these and other questions. For example:

Public Transport – Luxembourg

Since 2020, trains, trams and buses within Luxembourg are free to use by residents and tourists.  The aim is to ease traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and to increase social equity.  There is a target to increase public transport use by 20%. However, Luxembourg is still plagued by high levels of car ownership and congestion. There are low taxes on petrol and diesel and many still prefer the door-to-door convenience of private cars.  This demonstrates that you need good affordable public transport alongside restrictions on private car use

Heat Pumps – Norway

Despite its cold climate, 1.4 million homes, a remarkable 60% of all houses in Norway are kept warm by domestic heat pumps powered by renewable electricity.  This has come about through many years of supportive policies, helped by low electricity prices due to the abundance of hydro-electric power.  In 2016 the Government banned oil filled boilers in new domestic buildings, and in 2020 this ban was extended to existing buildings. Owners had three years to convert from oil and were entitled to grants and loans to help them with this change.

Energy Efficient Appliances – the EU

Since 1995 large household appliances have been sold across the EU with an energy efficiency label attached to them. This led to a transformational improvement in the energy efficiency of washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, ovens, fridges and freezers and light bulbs. As manufacturers easily achieved the ‘A’ standard; new A+, A++ and A+++ categories were introduced.  In 2021 even tighter standards took effect, with appliances now rated between an A and G

Cycling – The Netherlands

27% of all journeys are undertaken by bike in Holland, rising to 38% in Amsterdam. This is supported by excellent cycling infrastructure such as cycle paths, protected junctions and bicycle parking. None of this was inevitable. Like other ‘developed’ countries the Dutch took to the private car in the 1950s and 1960s.  It was only when people took to the streets to campaign against the high number of child deaths on the roads that Government policy changed to support cycle infrastructure and to restrict urban motor use. Now the needs of cyclists are considered at all stages of urban planning, with many ‘living streets’ which prioritise cyclists and pedestrians over cars. There is a ‘strict liability’ law meaning that the driver’s insurer is deemed to be liable to pay for damages after most crashes, and interestingly, there are no compulsory bicycle helmet laws – deemed to be unnecessary with traffic calming and dedicated cycle lanes.

The whole post is here.

Neil says: “Feel free to use and share any of this content, all I ask is that you acknowledge me and link to my website.”

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