Given our love of travel and adventure isn’t going to diminish anytime soon and that 90 percent of the goods we move around the world travel by sea, this response pushes us to develop cleaner modes of moving long distances. It focuses on emerging clean technologies and also addresses the ways in which we might rethink travel, and the importing and exporting of goods.
Why do we need this response?
Global shipping accounts for almost 3 per cent of total emissions while polluting waterways and damaging marine life. Airline flights account for around 2.5 percent of global emissions.
How are others approaching this?
There are many ways in which people around the world are attempting to solve this. Below is a small sample. If you have any further examples that you think should be on this list, please get in touch.
High speed electric trains
The ‘bullet train’ was launched in Japan in 1964 and today 9 high speed train lines carry 400,000 people a day to 22 of Japan’s major cities. In the past 15 years, China has become the major player in electric trains and will soon have more rail lines than the rest of the world combined. The comfort factor, the no airport factor and the urgent need to reduce car and aeroplane travel to lower global emissions, could see an increased uptake of high speed rail (or hyperloops) in the decades ahead.
Cleaner boats and ships
Global shipping causes almost 3% of total emissions while polluting waterways and damaging marine life. Given that around 90% of our goods travel by sea, finding alternative power for ships is critical. The MF HYDRA is a boat that can carry 300 people and 80-cars and is the first boat in the world to be powered by liquid hydrogen and batteries: it can run without refuelling for 3 weeks.
Trials are also underway on electric cargo ships and ships that are powered by ammonia fuel cells made from renewable energy.
"It is not a gain to offset a loss", says Paul Hawken. If you travel, you are probably familiar with offsets. It is the money you pay to a company to offset the greenhouse gas emissions you are generating on your journey. Large corporations have got in on the act and many are pledging to offset the huge emissions they generate. But offsets often involve tree planting and trees can take 20 years to ‘offset’ emissions. We simply don’t have time.
We need ‘onsets’ instead – activities by individuals, companies, and nations that remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they release and store this carbon in sinks, such as soils. Instead of neutralising emissions, what if corporations doubled or tripled its purchases of offsets - making them onsets instead? This would therefore result in paying forward a significant amount of goodness by working down the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Regenerative actions for you to implement
We believe every one of us has a role to play in Regeneration. If you are interested in helping, here are some actions we have identified that you can implement in your life.