What is a Sustainable Level of CO2 Emissions from Transport Activity in the UK in 2050?

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for 96% of these emissions. The paper reports on the development of UK transportation targets for CO2 emissions for 2050. Five key studies containing future carbon emissions scenarios for the UK were used to establish targets for overall reductions in emissions to achieve stabilization at 550 and 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2. Two approaches were used to estimate the contribution of transportation to total emissions in 2050: stabilization at the current level of 26% of total emissions, and an increase to 41% derived from the forecasts in the reviewed studies. The overall targets and expected contributions from transportation were used to derive target emissions for the transport sector to be achieved by 2050, which ranged from 8.2 to 25.8 MtC and a range of reductions from 13.4 to 30.8 MtC. Even the weakest of these targets represents a considerable reduction from current emissions levels. When set against the forecast growth in emissions, the weakest target would require a 50% reduction from trend by 2020. This would require significant behavioral change as well as technological improvement for the entire transportation sector.


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  • Accession Number: 01002085
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2005 10:37PM