Sustainable Automobile Transport

Sustainable Automobile Transport

Shaping Climate Change Policy

ESRI Studies Series on the Environment

Lisa Ryan and Hal Turton

Transport, and in particular road transport, represents a significant global threat to long-term sustainable development, and is one of the fastest-growing consumers of final energy and sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In this book, long-term energy–economy–environment scenarios are used to identify the key technological developments required to address the challenges passenger car transport poses to climate change mitigation and energy security. It also considers possible targets for policy support and examines some of the elements that contribute to the significant levels of uncertainty – particularly social and political conditions. The book then builds on this long-term scenario analysis with a broad review of recent empirical examples of relevant policy implementation to identify near-term options for the passenger transportation sector which may promote a shift towards a more sustainable transport system over the longer term.

Chapter 2: Future Drivers and Projections of Transport Demand

Lisa Ryan and Hal Turton

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, transport, environment, asian environment, climate change, environmental sociology, transport, urban and regional studies, transport


A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO TO EXPLORE FUTURE TRANSPORT Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are growing rapidly, and this sector is accounting for an ever-increasing share of total anthropogenic emissions, driven mainly by increasing incomes. The key question arises as to whether future transport activity, propelled by continued economic growth, will necessarily undermine the achievement of environmental sustainability, or whether technological and structural changes will enable the transport sector to develop in ways that are compatible with the principles of sustainable development, without necessarily restricting mobility. Although restricting access to particular modes of transport could achieve some aspects of environmental sustainability, it may undermine other aspects of development, including economic activity, social development and human welfare. It is the purpose of the following chapters to investigate the role of transport, particularly the role of the private automobile and personal mobility, in sustainable development. To explore these issues we start by describing a scenario of future demographic, economic and energy-intensity trends that will later be used to investigate global transport in more detail. As discussed, scenarios can help to enhance our understanding of highly complex systems, such as the future development of the global energy and transport system. In this study, we seek to use scenario analysis to better understand the technology transitions, and the potential role for policy support, required to realize a more sustainable transport system. Importantly, for this exercise it is not necessary to develop all elements of a scenario from scratch since many scenarios are available already, such...

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