Decarbonizing Transport for a Sustainable Future: Mitigating Impacts of the Changing Climate

This paper clarifies the importance of mitigating transportation’s large and growing share of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a critical contribution to moderating the dangerous impacts of climate change. There are four fundamental ways to reduce transport’s direct GHG emissions across the range of fossil fuel–dependent passenger and freight transport modes: improve vehicle energy efficiency; reduce the carbon intensity of energy sources; reduce the level of motorized transport activity; and improve the efficiency of the transport system. In addition, this paper discusses indirect means of reducing emissions, such as through changes to spatial form and land use. However, none of these measures alone is sufficient. A comprehensive mitigation strategy for transport is required to achieve GHG reductions of 80% to 90% by 2050. The purpose of this paper is to provide context for the deliberations of the Fifth EU-U.S. Transportation Research Symposium, the topic of which is mitigating the impacts of the changing climate. The paper is arranged as follows: Section 2 summarizes the problem of climate change and describes transportation’s role; Section 3 presents projections of future emissions under current policies; Section 4 considers the barriers to more radical change; Section 5 explores the kinds of policy strategies and behavioral changes that might achieve 80% to 90% reductions in transport emissions by 2050; and Section 6 suggests key research questions for consideration by symposium participants.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 30-60
  • Monograph Title: Decarbonizing Transport for a Sustainable Future: Mitigating Impacts of the Changing Climate. Summary of the Fifth EU-U.S. Transportation Research Symposium
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01674980
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309460453
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2018 9:53AM