Transportation

The transportation sector as a whole (including aviation, road transport, rail and shipping) relies predominantly upon fossil fuels, and is consequently a key contributor to global GHG emissions. According to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, the transportation sector accounted for 23% of global energy-related GHG emissions in 2004. Road transport accounts for approximately 78%  of total transport emissions. Aircraft and shipping were responsible for approximately 12% and 10%, respectively. In the U.S. transportation accounted for 28% of total emissions in 2011. Accordingly, drastic action to reduce emissions from the transport sector is a key step in tackling global climate change. In addition to the environmental benefits of decarbonising the transport sector, such a move would also bring with it a number of health co-benefits, including a reduction in the number of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and adverse reproductive outcomes.


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  • “In the next few decades, close to two billion vehicles will be added to the global fleet – if we do not address this growth and ensure that cleaner, more efficient transport solutions are available and adopted, the subsequent growth in pollutant and CO2 emissions will overcome global mitigation efforts in these sectors. We now have ready the technology and policies that can double auto fuel efficiency”    —Sheila Watson, Director of Environment, FIA Foundation, Apr. 2013
  • “This resolution (IATA agreement) is still very far from what the world needs, but if we compare it with previous statements from the aviation industry, there is some progress. the industry finally recognises that it has an emissions gap to address and that better air traffic control, better planes and biofuels together will not be enough, but it defers any action for another seven years and sets out a string of unworkable conditions. The proposal also relies solely on out-of-sector carbon offsets without saying anything about their quality.” – Bill Hemmings, Aviation Manager, Transport and Environment, June 2013
  • “There is no silver bullet to mitigate emissions from travel. a combination of different behavioural changes, efficiency improvements and transport policies will be needed.” – Jens Borken-Kleefeld, IIASA, Environmental Science and Policy, November 2013
  • “With good policies in place that proactively respond to megatrends, transport itself can transform societies for the better by furthering social inclusion, economic growth and environmental sustainability.” – José Viegas, Secretary-General, International Transport Forum, January 2014

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