When clean air becomes increasingly rare…
Transport is responsible for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. It is by far the most polluting sector ahead of agriculture (17%) and manufacturing industry (11%).
Among transport, the contribution of planes and ships to pollution remains very marginal. Private cars (54%) and heavy goods vehicles (21%) emit the vast majority of CO2.
We can identify in the past, 48,000 deaths that can be attributed each year to fine particle pollution in France according to Public Health France. Given their small size, they penetrate deep into the respiratory system as well as other organs and can cause cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Today, the vehicles producing the finest particles are diesel cars. They represent more than 69% of the French car fleet. This is a European record since it is twice the rate of Germany.
This majority is explained by the past decades of tax incentives for governments to use diesel, because it emits less CO2. In 2014, fine particle pollution reversed the general opinion.
2040 is the year in which thermal engine cars will have disappeared, provided that France complies with its objectives. But according to several environmental protection associations, it would be necessary, to meet climate objectives, to get rid of gasoline, diesel and hybrid vehicles before 2028.
There are only 2% of French people who go to work by bike. They are on average male executives, traveling about 3 to 4 km maximum to get to their place of work. This is a much lower proportion than those of our European neighbors such as 31% for the Netherlands, 13% for Germany and 4.7% for Italy.
We also know that only one person in six opts for public transport, leaving the main car in the cities.
We can take as an example Paris, where half of the public space is reserved for the car while only 12% of the inhabitants use it to go to work.
It is therefore imperative to produce non-polluting vehicles, with greater autonomy than current standards, while developing appropriate infrastructures around the world. It is indeed a race against time to meet the deadlines during which great changes must take place in order to preserve our planet.