Study: Uber And Lyft Reduce More CO2 Than Other Green Policies

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are doing more to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than government green mandates, according to a three-year study by scientists at the University of California, (UC) Berkeley.

The study found that each individual car owned by a ride-sharing service removed between 5.5 to 12.7 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, reducing total CO2 emissions from cars by about 10 percent. These services, like Uber and Lyft, cut a far larger proportion of CO2 emissions in the transportation sector than solar or wind did from the energy sector.

“Our exhaustive, three-year research effort into one-way car sharing reveals that [ride-sharing] vehicles result in fewer privately-owned vehicles on the road, fewer vehicle miles traveled and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr. Susan Shaheen, a professor of civil engineering at UC Berkeley, wrote in a press statement. “Participation from car2go and its members, the largest free-floating one-way car sharing service in North America, gave us unprecedented access and insight into how this kind of innovative mobility service is impacting North American cities.”

The research team, working with ride-sharing services in American and Canadian cities, found that these services also reduce the number of cars traveling on city roads and occupying city parking spaces. Ride-sharing services were especially effective at removing the oldest and most environmentally harmful cars from service.

Statistical analysis and regressions previously conducted by The Daily Caller News Foundation found no statistically significant link between the number of green policies implemented by state and that corresponding state’s CO2 emissions since 2005.

Solar power is responsible for a mere 1 percent of the decline in American CO2 emissions, according to a study by the Manhattan Institute.

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