Climate Change

Thursday, August 10, 2006


There are many transport issues that are related or can be affected by climate change, a brief discussion on transport issues around climate change is provided. Man has always relied on transport systems since the period of horses to the invention of automobiles. But these transportation systems are actually a contributor of climate change. So where are we heading with old transport systems?

Countries such as the UK have already pointed out these transport problems and has started to implement certain traffic and transport regulations. For example an average UK citizen traveling has increased 10 times as appose to previous years but with their new systems they make new resources available to their public [1]. Here in South Africa we can see what effects public transportation has on our economy and how many people actually rely on this. As indicated in the UK our countries car ownerships has increased and citizens travel greater distances than they did in the past [1]. For South Africa new transport facilities are underway and the country is considered as a role model for technological sophistication and advancement for transport [2]. These include upgrading much of the old air transport, roads, railways, ports etc. [2], but are government aware of climate change?

The South Africa government agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 [3], and more studies have highlighted the problems of climate related factors in South Africa. These strategies focus on renewable energy and less carbon intensive energy economy [3] but these are all “under development” as the 2010 world cup is underway. So is climate change really of an importance in SA? To me this is not much highlighted because many people are still unaware of such climate changes as poverty and lack of education is still some of the major issues of South Africa.

Transport systems are considered as immovable infrastructures but with climate change on the horizon this may change [4]. If sea levels increase then this will lead to the relocation of most railways and roads close to coastal areas [4]. Since many roads and railways would have to be replaced because of sea level rise, can you imagine what effect it will have on harbors and many ports around coastal areas of the world? This will have a devastating affect on coastal countries that rely on import and export goods via harbors. Not only will devastated drought events occur, but countries can be stricken with excessive rain fall periods [4]. Furthermore, drought periods are followed by heavy rainfall events these roads are then easily washed away. This will cause flooding of many roads and an increase in food prices because agricultural road networks are gravel for most African countries [4]. Thus upgrading is required as well as environmental friendly technologies. Several studies have been done to point out certain areas of climate related factors but little has been done about it but for now the 2010 world cup and other environmental and political issues last.


[1] Lucas R. 2006. Providing transport for social inclusion within a framework for environmental justice in the UK. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 40(10):801-809

[2] South Africa, Alive with Possibility. Doing_business/economy/infrastructure [Internet]. South Africa's transport network [cited 2006 August 10]. Available from:

[3] Department of Environmental affairs and Tourism. 2004. A national Climate change response strategy for South Africa. Report: 1-48.

[4] UNEP, WMO. Transport [Internet]. The Regional Impacts of Climate Change [cited 2006 August 10]. Available from:

1.I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and to pretend that it is one’s own.
2. I have used the CSE/CBE convention for citation and referencing. Each significant contribution to, and quotation in this project from the work, or works, of other people has been attributed, and has been cited and referenced.
3. This assignment is my own work.
4. I have not allowed, and will not allow anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as his or her own work.


  • Public transport could reduce the cars on the roads... have you ever been on the N1 and N2 in the morning traffic? How many cars have just a driver in the car??? South Africa can certainly beef up their public transport system. They will have to anyway for 2010 and hopefully it will have a positive effect on our the countries CO2 emissions.

    By Blogger Karen Marais, at August 13, 2006 8:15 PM  

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