Will we reach our climate ambitions for global CO2 reduction in the transport sector?

Date: 31, January 2017
Despite changing behavior and important technological progresses, the CO2 emissions from transport could increase with 60% on a global level by 2050. For road transport, the CO2 emissions will probably double according to a study done by ITF (International Transport Forum). Today's measures and policies will not be enough in order to achieve our climate ambitions on a global scale.

A new study published by ITF (International Transport Forum) finds that it will not be possible to achieve the reduction for global CO2 emissions from the transport sector with the current measures and policies.

“Continued strong growth in demand for mobility” will in a best case scenario leave global CO2 emissions at the same level in 2050 as in 2015. This scenario also includes how new technologies and changed attitudes will lead to scientifically less CO2 emissions in relation to the distances travelled.

In a worst case scenario, we will according to ITF see a “doubling of global transport demand” which will lead to an increase of 60% of CO2 emissions globally by 2050. The difficulty of reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector in the years to come, is due to more trade in regions with no alternatives to road transport. This will make the CO2 emissions from the road freight double. The freight on intra-Asia routes is for example predicted to grow up to 250% in 2050.

However, there is still something we can do in order to reduce the CO2 emissions even further. For the road haulage sector, changing measures such as more relaxed delivery deadlines, better route optimization and truck-sharing would help to mitigate the rise in CO2 emissions up to one third according to ITF.

Søren Larsen, CEO of NLA, notes that this study is quite interesting showing that transport and climate is affected by many elements beyond an operator’s reach. It confirms that there is a need for joint action from transport buyers, authorities and road transport operators to achieve reductions, not least the targeted reductions.