Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Climate change and transport

Jochem, Patrick and Rothengatter, Werner and Schade, Wolfgang (2016): Climate change and transport. Published in: Transportation research / D , Vol. 45, (3 July 2018): pp. 1-3.

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The transport sector is currently the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas (IPCC, 2013). On the global perspective, transport emissions are increasing fast and they might soon catch up with those from the electricity and heat provision sector (IEA, 2015). In 2010 transport generated about 7.0 gigatonnes of direct greenhouse gas emissions. Mainly driven by fast development of emerging economies, transport might double its emissions by 2050 (IEA, 2015). Decarbonising transport is seen as more challenging compared to other sectors (cf. Creutzig et al., 2015). The fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that the increase in global average surface temperature is very likely due to the observed raise in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and the target to keep global warming below 2L requires severe efforts by the society (IPCC, 2015). In contradiction, transport has not been in the focus of the political agenda (Creutzig et al., 2015) – mainly because policy makers believe that the economy is strongly dependent on cheap mobility and they fear to annoy their voters. The scientific community should strengthen their proclamation that current societies are still focusing on inefficient and oil dependent mobility technologies. Non-motorised modes, public transport, and electric vehicles might provide competitive and efficient abatement options with further social benefits in the future (Creutzig, 2015; Jochem et al., 2015). Otherwise, the ongoing increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport will highly probably continue for the next decades, due to the rising global vehicle fleet and increasing volumes in freight transport and aviation.

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