A study by Siemens reveals that transportation generates 41% of the polluting emissions in Madrid. Of this 41%, private cars account for 80% of pollution (ie 6 metric tons of CO2eq), far above levels of emissions caused by transportation in other cities.
To gain a precise idea of what these percentages mean, in Copenhagen, transportation accounts for 20% of the total emissions, that is, half the same figure in Madrid, while in Helsinki it is 32%. The report “Madrid 2020-2030, a cleaner air in a city focused on its citizens”, which has been developed with the collaboration of the Madrid City Council, notes that the remaining 59% corresponds to emissions from buildings and infrastructure.
In addition, more than 80% (6 metric tons) of the 7 metric tons of transport-related CO2eq emissions analyzed in Madrid come from private vehicles – since taxis and buses account for less than 800 kilotons –. Another of the negative consequences of the high rate of private transport use in Madrid is poor air quality, since cars in Madrid are responsible for more than 80% of PM10 and NOx pollutants.
In fact, the problem of air pollution in Madrid has become so pressing that in 2015 and 2016 there were days when air pollutants exceeded the levels allowed by the European Directive on Air Quality, Siemens recalls in a statement.
This footprint is not surprising, since of the total of 23,000 million kilometers run over a year by Madrid citizens, 62% are made by car, 30% in public transport (regional trains, metro and buses) and 5% in taxis, motorcycles and bicycles, the document states.
Polluting emissions in Madrid
Aware of this situation, the Madrid City Council has set a series of short- and long-term environmental objectives to improve air quality and increase energy efficiency in the city: a 20% reduction in CO2 in 2020 and a 40% reduction in 2030; 10% less final energy consumption; 20% decrease in transport-related pollutant emissions and 25% reduction in energy use in public and government buildings, the statement points out.
To meet these objectives, Siemens, through its City Performance Tool, has also included solutions and a short– and long–term environmental development plan in the report. The company reveals that a natural 10% reduction in emissions can be achieved by simply improving the performance of cars by 2030.
However, in order to achieve the remaining 20% -30%, it would be necessary to implement relevant measures, such as a toll system (similar to the one in force in London), which would allow for rapid results (reduction of 20% of emissions) and with a lower cost, especially when compared with other technologies.
Another possible option envisaged in the study would be to achieve the transition of all public buses, 70% of taxis and 20% of private cars to alternative fuel vehicles. “The experience gained in other cities shows that, from the air quality perspective, the technologies with the greatest impact in reversing extreme situations are urban tolls, electric cars, plug-in hybrids, e-taxis and also training programs in eco-driving for drivers, ” they explain.
City Performance Tool
Siemens City Performance Tool, which can analyze up to 350 data typologies, identifies which technologies in the transportation, construction and energy sectors are best suited to each city to lower CO2 levels, improve air quality and raise the local employment level.
Specifically, for the analysis of the city of Madrid, City Performance Tool has been based on a model that covers data from the transportation and energy sectors, including electricity generation and modal travel quota; It has measured the impact of technologies on CO2, PM10 and NOX levels in the city and has calculated CO2 in different areas of the energy and transportation sectors.
It has also assessed the performance of each technology taking into account economic indicators, such as the total investment required with its costs until 2025, and the total number of jobs that could potentially be created in the local economy, it points out.