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CO2 Mitigation Measures for Transport Will Not Achieve Climate Ambitions

Current and foreseeable policies to mitigate carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from global transport activity will not suffice to achieve the international community’s climate ambitions, a new study published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) finds.

Continued strong growth in demand for mobility means that even in the most optimistic scenario, transport CO2 emissions in 2050 will still be at 2015 levels of around 7.5 giga-tonnes, according to projections published in the ITF Transport Outlook 2017.

This scenario already assumes that new technologies and changed behaviour lead to significantly less CO2 being emitted in relation to the total distance travelled. In the ITF Transport Outlook’s less optimistic baseline scenario, a doubling of global transport demand will lead to an increase of transport CO2 emissions of 60% between 2015 and 2050.

“We need to both accelerate innovation and make radical policy choices to decarbonise transport”, said ITF Secretary-General José Viegas on the occasion of the launch.

“Technology will provide about 70% of the possible CO2 reductions to 2050. The rest will come from doing things differently, and this is where there is still a lot of potential. We need to think much harder about things like shared mobility, changes in supply chains and even new transport modes.”

A key factor for the difficulty in reducing transport CO2 emissions over the long run is shifting global trade patterns. As trade moves to regions with a lack of rail or waterway infrastructure, greenhouse gas emissions from road freight will almost double. Driven by more trade among the region’s emerging economies, freight transport on intra-Asian routes will grow particularly strongly, by 250% to 2050. Operational measures such as truck-sharing, route optimisation or relaxation of delivery windows to optimise use of transport capacity would help to mitigate the emission increases here.

Urban mobility is another area of concern. Car use in cities is set to double by 2050, as fast-growing emerging economies meet mobility demand. According to the ITF analysis, cities can keep the number of cars constant at the 2015 level if they act now to put in place integrated land-use and transport policies, use pricing to manage mobility patterns and invest in accessibility through public transport.

“With the right policy mix, even fast-growing cities will be in a position provide today’s level of mobility to citizens but in a more sustainable way”, notes Jari Kauppila, Head of Modelling and Statistics at ITF.

Go to the ITF Transport Outlook 2017

Media Contact: 

Michael KLOTH
+33 (0)6 27 21 47 41
michael.kloth@itf-oecd.org


ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT FORUM
Who we are
The International Transport Forum is an intergovernmental organisation with 57 member countries. It acts as a think tank for transport policy and organises the Annual Summit of transport ministers. ITF is the only global body that covers all transport modes. The ITF is administratively integrated with the OECD, yet politically autonomous.

What we do
ITF works for transport policies that improve peoples’ lives. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the role of transport in economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion and to raise the public profile of transport policy.

How we do it
ITF organises global dialogue for better transport. We act as a platform for discussion and pre-negotiation of policy issues across all transport modes. We analyse trends, share knowledge and promote exchange among transport decision-makers and civil society. ITF’s Annual Summit is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and the leading global platform for dialogue on transport policy.

Learn more: www.itf-oecd.org