Impact of Transportation on Environment

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Human activities, “especially transportation, have disastrous effects on humans, animals, plants and the environment as a whole. One of the most worrying matter today is the protection of the environment. Having a better environment to meet the different needs of human is one of the most important goals to reach. Transportation is an essential component of modernization in our society. Air pollution has significant and major effects on health and the environment. This modernization is not without consequence on the energy needs and the environment.. This paper will provide the negative impacts of the transport sector on environmental resources and on people. These damaging effects are at the local and global. Transport energy consumption is highly dependent on petroleum fuels, particularly road and air transportation. The different types of natural resources that make up the environment and the different modes of transportation and their infrastructures.

The global environmental impacts of the transportation of goods are mainly evaluated by its greenhouse gas emissions. The road is the most used mode for the delivery of goods. This activity plays an important role of the energy consumption of road transportation. Given the need for awareness and prevention, some measures to ensure a healthy environment are important and will be taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has been set up to promote low-emission vehicles. For a better protection of the environment, it is very important to focus on preventive and curative measures of protection. The adoption of eco-driving or the improvement of infrastructure and logistics such as the use of mega-trucks cannot remedy this easily. As a solution, it is important to commit by improving truck technology, training drivers in eco-driving, and using more efficient fuels and lubricants. In cities, for example small electric trucks can be used.

Also, these modes of transport need to be replaced by other less polluting modes of transport or by vehicles that are more respectful of the environment by reducing air pollution. Environmental resources are essential for the survival of the human species and therefore their preservation is the responsibility of everyone.”

Keywords : Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Impact of Transportation on Environment

All the modernization push today to increase the mobility, thus the pollution. There is an increase in daily distances traveled, especially by car. Already, transportation has replaced industry as the main source of air pollution. Tangentially, transport policies determine the geopolitics of oil and the evolution of air pollution.

According to Douglas, G. and J. Miller (1974), Economic Regulation of Domestic Transport: Theory and Policy, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C, “ To speak of the impacts of transport on the environment is to have implicitly adopted criteria of appreciation of what is bearable or intolerable for the man, good or bad, beautiful or ugly. The description of environmental impacts is therefore not purely factual: it depends on choices that may vary, even if certain impacts such as noise are directly measurable. The perceived importance of the impact also depends on the sensitivity of the population or the receiving environment, as well as the nature of the phenomenon that causes it. The environment, source of life and made up of several types of natural resources, forms a balance between man and his environment. It is threatened by the modernization and growth of human needs”. The transport sector, despite its economic and social utility, has a negative impact on environmental resources; and this is perceptible both locally and globally.

According to Klass, Alexandra B. and Meinhardt, Danielle, in Transporting Oil and Gas “This sector accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions worldwide and has a negative impact on human health. In order to maintain this balance, national and international policies have been implemented to enable people to live in harmony with nature and to ensure sustainable development.” Fortunately, over the last few decades, there has been growing awareness of the effects of economic growth on the environment. The regret remains to note that this awareness is not generalized because the environment undergoes, and more beautiful, disasters following the activities of the man. The main objective of this study will therefore be to show that, beyond their essential nature in the economy, transport is a source of negative impacts on our environment. Within this objective, the following secondary objectives will be the subject of an in-depth study. What is the impact on air pollution from road transportation? How to reduce the effects of the pollution? What are the different policies regarding on air pollution from road transportation?

Impact on air pollution from road transportation

A specificity of research in air pollution and more generally in environment is that the topics treated depend strongly on the social demand. This has been the case for research on the greenhouse effect. Thus the axes proposed by the researchers cannot be deduced from the only scientific questioning to understand what one does not understand, but must take into account the public stakes of the field. In the area of transportation, air pollution, the evolution of both air quality and emissions, which has the advantage that it can be extrapolated reliably enough over a period of around twenty years. , are rich in lessons. The transportation sector, particularly road transport, is a major contributor to the overall emissions balance of substances involved in air pollution. Emissions of transport pollutants are even more harmful to health, as releases occur mainly in urban areas, close to populations.

In fact , Takayuki Takeshita , “Global Scenarios of Air Pollutant Emissions from Road Transport explains that “the transportation sector is responsible for much of the emissions of other air pollutants that contribute to the formation and overall deterioration of air quality. Means of transportation emit gases that have harmful effects on human health. These disruptions to health are due to air pollution and climate change. In terms of impacts, the greenhouse effect is undoubtedly the major issue. It is therefore necessary to refine our knowledge, especially with regard to taking into account a wider number of pollutants whose effect may vary according to their place of emission”. The second impact, in terms of importance, is undoubtedly the sensitive pollution such as odors, fumes, soiling which is the subject of very little research although all the surveys show that it is an essential nuisance for the population, the decrease however, smoke emissions are a source of weight. Then we can mention the pollution photochemical that decreases less than its precursors, which are somewhat surprising, then the impacts on fauna and flora.

Finally, the problem of synergies between impacts is hardly addressed, between different aspects of air pollution or different impacts on the environment. For decision support tools, it is not enough to rely on an analytical approach that is scientific world, but which does not allow to answer clearly and simply, for example in an aggregated way, to the simple questions that decision-makers and citizens ask themselves. He is in particular urgent need to aggregate the different impacts forming the pollution of the air, pollution the greenhouse effect by way of photochemical smog, and even often to have a systemic approach to the environment, for which the concept of sustainable development promising. This approach would be favored by a common culture of researchers towards all aspects of air pollution from transport and even the environment and transport.

Solutions to reduce the effects of the pollution

Before specifying the associations’ proposals, it is important to recall the general evolution of air pollution in order to situate the issues. According to EPA, in 20 years, the emission of air pollutants induced by industries and domestic heating has been greatly reduced but is now reaching an important level.

The steady growth in traffic is reflected in a steady growth in the share of transport in air pollution. The gradual reduction in fuel consumption of vehicles put into circulation was offset by a deterioration of traffic conditions in the city.

The growing share of diesel cars sold is causing a higher emission of particulates and nitrogen dioxide. The generalization of the catalytic converter for gasoline cars will gradually lead to a reduction in emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitric oxide. Overall, in the end, these evolutions result in an inexorably increasing accumulation of both persistent local pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.

Sarah E. Boslaugh, in Evaluating the Health Cost of Transport Pollution stipule “that the main causes of air pollution are related to the ignition of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). The combustion of these raw materials occurs mainly during or in the operation of the industrial and land transport sectors. In the industrial sector it is necessary to differentiate the factories and the power plants, which produce half of the electricity consumed in our country. The division of responsibilities in air pollution between the industrial sector and land transport is clearly imbalanced towards transport. About 80% of air pollution is due to road traffic. Modern societies have organized themselves in connection with transport, as in other aspects, and against all the basic principles of Nature”. Today society has become surrounded by technologies, so the means of transportation have acquired a more mechanical character, trying to satisfy two basic tendencies, independently of the problems they may cause: on the one hand, increase of speed and secondly allow a relative independence of the users. This surge in transportation technology has resulted in greater convenience and efficiency in service, but on the other hand, it is causing an intolerable increase in the environmental and social impacts associated with this activity, between other air pollution.

Also , electric vehicles are developing despite the lack of infrastructure, lack of electrical infrastructure for charging, despite the limited autonomy, price, size, weight of batteries, to reduce air pollution . The absence of noise and pollution of vehicles in urban area, etc., is one of the important advantages of these electric vehicles. Electric mobility is synonymous with economy on the scale of territories, provided to produce locally “green” electricity rather than import increasingly polluting oil. It is also important to better inform users about bus use instead of using their own cars. Recent technological advances in telecommunications must be used to better inform customers about the upcoming arrival of the bus at a standstill, to regularize schedules. A satellite guidance such as the one already known by taxis would in addition to door-to-door on low-speed links under simple phone call … It is in the field of management and communication more than in that of infrastructure or vehicles that significant progress is possible.

Facilitating the use of the bus also involves improving the signaling of stops, connections, between bus lines and also between buses and other public transport networks. To circulate the buses in clean sites and to improve the clocking’s. Reserved lanes are essential for the bus. Develop traffic in clean sites in the center of the avenues, protected from the rest of the traffic, to avoid their congestion by the cars in circulation or, even worse, in parking and by the deliveries. By keeping the buses free of congestion, their speed is increased. This would allow for much more reliable schedules. To reduce the environmental impact of the transport function, companies such as logistics businesses can also act on the transport equipment used.

The ecological bonus is the general measure of support for the acquisition of low-emission vehicles. This bonus also applies to companies that acquire or lease a vehicle that emits a limited amount of CO2 per mile for example. This acquisition must be made under a lease with option to purchase or a contract signed for a period of at least two years. Companies can acquire hybrid passenger cars as company vehicles for their businesses. They can then benefit from a tax exemption on company vehicles. For companies that acquire clean vehicles, an exceptional deduction can be made.

According to EPA , the central services of the ministerial departments, the structures and institutions of mission, the organizations, the federations and central unions contribute on the one hand to preserve and ensure the implementation of the appropriate techniques and provisions in order to protect, to develop , exploit and enhance forest and wildlife resources and, on the other hand, implement national strategies for pollution and remediation, integrated chemical management and landscaping and regulation, environmental inspection and the promotion of environmental assessments.

Rajagopal, Deepak and Zilberman, David, in “Review of Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels explain that the advantages of these fuels are that their production areas are close to the consumption areas and that they are less polluting than petroleum hydrocarbons. However, this production mobilizes large agricultural areas and consumes at least as many products as traditional agriculture.


To sum up , fortunately, an awareness of the negative impact of transport on the environment has challenged national and global governments to take protective measures that are summed up by international summits, agreements and protocols, commitments, national and global days. , and the use of new technologies. Despite these measures, shortcomings, especially at the national level, remain to be filled. This is mainly the implementation of natural heritage accounts to monitor the evolution of environmental resources; the involvement and dynamism of civil society in environmental issues; the adoption of a draft law on the age of cars in circulation to help clean up the car fleet and finally the need for a real environmental impact study before any construction of transport infrastructure.

Uncertainties as to the evolution of the concentrations of the different pollutants are still important because the history is still limited, and even very limited for the many pollutants, which are not regulated. Some might even turn out soon, like carbon dioxide has turned in a few years of inert gas into major pollutant. The uncertainties are at least large for emission inventories, for unregulated pollutants, but also because that we have been able to neglect an important source of emission, as seems to be the case today for automotive. There are still some strong points, unmistakable, which revolve around the issue of the greenhouse effect, which we start to understand but that we can not regulate. Beyond that, systemic approaches to air pollution and of the environment-transport couple seem interesting. They should respond better to the problem of sustainable development than the current essentially analytical approaches.


  1. Rajagopal, Deepak and Zilberman, David, Review of Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels (September 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4341
  2. Jaiswal, Anuj and K., Dhote and Krishnan, R. and Jain, Devansh, Bus Rapid Transit System: A Milestone for Sustainable Transport: A Case Study of Janmarg BRTs, Ahmedabad, India (August 19, 2012). OIDA International Journal of Sustainable
  3. Klass, Alexandra B. and Meinhardt, Danielle, Transporting Oil and Gas: U.S. Infrastructure Challenges (March 18, 2014). Iowa Law Review, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-17
  4. Greenstone, Michael and Sunstein, Cass R. and Ori, Sam, Fuel Economy 2.0 (February 2019). Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 17-27.
  5. Furchtgott-Roth, Diana E. and Green, Kenneth, Intermodal Safety in the Transport of Oil (October 15, 2013). Studies in Energy Transportation
  6. Davies, Lincoln L., U.S. Renewable Energy Policy in Context (October 26, 2015). 15 Environmental Law and Policy 33 (2015); University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 146. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706121
  7. Rentschler, Jun E., Oil Price Volatility, Economic Growth and the Hedging Role of Renewable Energy (September 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6603
  8. Rajagopal, Deepak and Zilberman, David, “Review of Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels” (September 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4341.
  9. Takayuki Takeshita , “Global Scenarios of Air Pollutant Emissions from Road Transport through to 2050” , (2016) , https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155343/

Cite this paper

Impact of Transportation on Environment. (2020, Sep 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/impact-of-transportation-on-environment/



How do vehicles impact the environment?
Vehicles contribute to air pollution through emissions of greenhouse gases and particulate matter, which can lead to climate change and respiratory illnesses. They also contribute to noise pollution and habitat destruction through the construction of roads and highways.
What are the three major impacts of transportation on the environment?
The three major impacts of transportation on the environment are air pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution.
What effect does transportation have on the environment?
The effect of transportation on the environment is twofold. First, transportation emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change and other environmental problems. Second, the way we build and maintain our transportation infrastructure can have a significant impact on the environment, both positive and negative.
What type of transportation is bad for the environment?
Academic procrastination is a problem because it can lead to poor grades and a lack of academic success. Additionally, academic procrastination can lead to stress and anxiety.
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