Measuring road infrastructure carbon: a 'critical' in transport's journey to net zero

The Department for Transport’s Decarbonisation Plan focuses on ‘tailpipe emissions’ from vehicles. Whilst the plan acknowledges embodied emissions in the construction and management of infrastructure and the building of new vehicles, no clear indications of the scale of these emissions nor their significance have been provided. The national accounting responsibility for those embodied emissions sits with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) at a national scale. So, the Department responsible for generating these emissions through decisions to expand infrastructure (DfT) is not responsible for managing those emissions. The reality for organisations promoting new infrastructure, such as Transport for the North (TfN), is that they will need to present a ‘whole-life’ approach which deals with all of the carbon implications of their choices. Shifting to a ‘whole-life’ carbon (WLC) approach requires an understanding and assessment of embodied carbon at the ‘design’ stage to become a part of strategic decision making, leading to investment programmes compatible with climate commitments. However, perhaps because of the lack of focus on these issues within DfT and the lack of responsibility for transport infrastructure within BEIS, the departments currently offer limited guidance, expertise and experience in understanding how important embodied emissions might be to different types of investment cases. The aim of this work is to quantify the embodied and operational carbon associated with the systems and sub-systems in the roads transport infrastructure to inform decision-making.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 46p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01841389
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 4 2022 3:33PM