“Changing how we travel is one of the single biggest things we can do to try and slow down global warming” says Councillor Dean Kirk, the person in charge of encouraging people to cycle and walk as a means of regular transport.
This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report issuing a stark warning on the devastating impact human activity is having on the climate.
The report shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.
Councillor Dean Kirk, portfolio holder for transportation, roads, highways and flood prevention, said: “We’re no stranger to extreme weather in this area. The devastating impacts of the 2007 floods is still very fresh in residents’ memories.
“As a city we have a huge commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, and changing how we travel is one of the single biggest things we can do to try and slow down global warming.”
Surface transport is now recognised as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, most of which comes from cars and vans.
Councillor Kirk continued: “Doing our bit by travelling more actively will directly help combat air pollution, reduce congestion on the roads and improve health and wellbeing.
“We’re all acutely aware of how traffic levels rise and fall in line with the school term. The majority of schools in Hull have catchment areas where most students could easily access them on foot or bike, and by introducing healthy habits from a young age, it will no doubt have a lasting impact as the next generation grows and continues to address the reality of climate change.”
The 2011 census data shows that 15 per cent of all car and van travel is 2km or less and 40 per cent is between 2km and 5km. Assuming up to 5km is considered a short distance, a total of 33,937 people could potentially travel actively.
There are many environmentally friendly transport modes people can commute including buses, cycling, walking or the train for slightly longer journeys.
Read the full IPCC report here.