Climate effects of transportation

In terms of emission levels, aircraft, road, and railway transportation are very important climate impact sources. However there are considerable differences in the climate impacts of the types of transportation: One ton of CO2 emissions allows for a travel distance of 3,000; 7,000; and 17,000 km by aircraft, car, and train transportation, respectively. Train transportation of goods is characterised by the lowest climate impacts with 29 g CO2-eq. per ton and km compared to 158 for road haulage and 31 for shipping (under German conditions; Allianz, 2003). Moreover, in the case of aircraft transportation, not only CO2 emissions count. There is an extra climate burden by water vapour and pollutants at great heights.

Some details of road and aircraft transportation are discussed below.

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