A Complete Turnaround of the Transport Sector is Absolutely Imperative

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A Complete Turnaround of the Transport Sector is Absolutely Imperative

International Committee of the Fourth International

In order to fight climate change the whole system of transportation has to be reversed and reconstructed as it is currently responsible for one fifth (in some countries up to one quarter) of the production of greenhouse gases. From 1970 to 2004 the oil-based transportation sector (cars, SUVs, trucks, ships, aircraft) increased its CO2-emissions 222%. Predictions indicate by 2030 it will increase another 80%.

Between 2015-19 at least 90 million vehicles were produced annually. Yet the individual vehicle sits idle 90% of the time, necessitating the construction of parking spaces and garages. These vehicles... create 78% of the CO2-emissions caused by the construction, maintenance and use of streets and highways (the rest comes from buses, trams and trains). Further, this mode of individual transportation is market driven and therefore reinforces inequality. We can no longer afford the ‘car culture’ that has dominated society over the last 75 years.

Despite the need to substantially reduce the traffic and storage of the individual motor car, converting the auto industry into one that produces for mass transit will be a difficult struggle. Nonetheless we have a partial model: during World War II all US auto production was halted as Washington requisitioned the plants for wartime production. An even more wide-reaching industrial conversion is necessary today with the necessity of drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

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