Reducing transport's impact on climate change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Research


In 2004, transport was responsible for 23 % of global energy-related CO2 emissions, or some 6.3 gigatonnes (Gt) CO2. The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on Mitigation projected a rise of 80 % in CO2 emissions by 2030 in the absence of specific reduction policies. The report estimated that emission reduction policies would only lower the total in 2030 from 11.34 Gt to at best 8.8 Gt. Yet elsewhere the IPCC report showed that to limit global temperature rise since the industrial revolution to 2 °C, thought to represent a prudent limit for avoiding dangerous climatic change, CO2 emissions may have to be cut by the year 2050 to as little as 15 % of the year 2000 values. In this chapter we look at the emission reduction potentials for the various transport modes, both passenger and freight, that could be achieved by the year 2030. The major options for each transport mode include increases in vehicle fuel efficiency and loading, and shifts to non-carbon fuels. We show that these options, even combined, cannot deliver anywhere near the reductions needed. Instead we will need not only massive shifts to more energy-and greenhouse-efficient transport modes, especially for passenger transport, but particularly in the high-income countries, travel reductions as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Adaptation: Ecology, Mitigation and Management
EditorsAdam L Jenkins
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781611227642
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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