Ban Private Cars in London)
What are embedded or embodied carbon emissions?
Embedded carbon emissions is a broad term used to describe the range of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions associated with the production of a product.
Whilst a carbon footprint can be used to express the carbon of running a car, embodied carbon would instead tell you the carbon footprint of producing that car
Embodied carbon calculations therefore require an understanding of all of the materials, or ingredients, within your products, and all activities related to those materials, such as processing and transport.
When deciding whether an infrastructure project or transport policy contributes to or mitigates global warming, we must therefore compare the amount of energy used by the infrastructure and vehicles in question to the amount of energy consumed in producing it.
Embodied energy is an accounting method which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product life-cycle. Determining what constitutes this life-cycle includes assessing the relevance and extent of energy into raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, disassembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition as well as human and secondary resources.
This graphic, slightly confusingly, represents the carbon footprint by the black balloon not the green footprint. But it illustrates that the top of the range electric vehicle, run on ‘green power’, has been given the same carbon footprint as the bike and walking. This is how we have been sold the ‘zero-emission’ myth of electric vehicles. No account has been taken of the embodied greenhouse emissions in the production of the vehicle. This is an anomaly that needs rectifying.
I want to know how the Mayor of London and Transport for London are accounting for all greenhouse emissions in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. This means I will be submitting Freedom of information (FOI) requests for embedded carbon emissions in a wide range of infrastructure projects such as The Elizabeth Line and the Silvertown Tunnel. As well as vehicles such as ZEC Taxis and Low emission buses.