Your Choice of Means of Transport Affects the Climate

Climate and environment blog

If you want to try to travel environmentally friendly this summer, how should you think? And how much does a trip in money and emissions cost, how much does it differ depending on which means of transport you choose?


Aviation accounts for between four and five percent of many European countries’ total carbon dioxide emissions.
A return trip from the northern parts of Europe to Bangkok gives an emission of about four tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

A family consisting of two parents and three children from Norhtern Europe who this summer choose to travel to Croatia will account for an emission corresponding to more than two tonnes of carbon dioxide.

– A major reason why aviation is usually always a worse climate alternative is that high altitude emissions contribute to roughly twice the greenhouse gas effect as the corresponding carbon dioxide emissions on the ground. This is important to remember also for future calculations when renewable fuels are used in aviation. You will not get rid of the high-altitude effect.


Cars, buses, and trucks are the means of transport that affect the climate most. About 75 percent of the distance we travel is done by car.

Riding alone in a car fueled by gasoline or diesel produces about the same impact on the climate per kilometer as when sitting in an airplane. If you are going to drive yourself to the holiday destination, the car should be refueled with renewable fuels if it is to be considered a climate more efficient alternative than air.

Electric cars are usually always an environmentally friendly alternative, but to a large extent depending on the electricity you use.
– Electric cars a good but you should avoid electricity produced from coal power if you want to keep the emissions limited. An electric car driven on electricity from coal power can have emissions on a par with a gasoline car.


The train is one of the most environmentally friendly ways of traveling because it has very little climate impact.
Trains are largely powered by electricity in many parts of the world, but in the same way that an electric car is different environmentally friendly in different countries because the electricity it is powered by is produced in different ways, the trains are different environmentally friendly around Europe.

Another reason why the trains are more environmentally friendly than other means of transport is that they travel easily.
In addition, a train can take many passengers. It can accommodate as many people as six buses or about 140 cars.


Climate compensation for a boat trip is half as expensive as for an air trip – but passenger ships draw a lot of energy in relation to the number of people they can transport.

This depends, among other things, on the weight of the vessels, which must be pressed through high-speed water.
An environmentally friendly alternative for traveling across the Atlantic can be a container boat. The freighters are not carbon dioxide free, but are already on a journey.

But ferries are not always a more environmentally friendly alternative to aircraft. What type of boat and fuel you use plays a role.
Another environmental factor in shipping is the release of microscopic particles, which pose a danger to human health. Oil spills, oil spills and boat bottom paint are also harmful to the environment.
Methanol – a residual product from the forest – is a 100 percent green fuel that can be used for boats.

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