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 5: Technology Development in a Sustainable Transport Scenario

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


In this chapter we examine whether a sustainable energy and transport system can emerge under the scenario outlined in Chapter 2, and analyse the energy and transport system developments necessary to realize longterm sustainable development. Specifically, we investigate the technical potential over the long term of new technologies and fuels to offset the environmental and resource-depletion impacts of an energy and mobility scenario that incorporates the impact of increasing incomes (with many of the more significant energy and mobility challenges emerging in today’s developing world regions). In addition to identifying the features of a sustainable transport system, this allows us to assess whether there is a place for, and explore the implications of, high levels of private mobility in a sustainable-development scenario. This chapter brings together the transport demand scenario described in Chapter 2, the information on technologies described in Chapter 3 and the modelling framework outlined in Chapter 4. Unlike other studies employing scenario analysis, which often present, first, a baseline or business-as-usual scenario, in this chapter we turn first to the exploration of a sustainable development and transport scenario. The primary reason for this approach is that our main interest is how a sustainable transport system might emerge. However, this approach was chosen also because so-called ‘baseline’ scenarios assume a certain set of policies (or, more usually, the complete absence of policies), which are no more realistic than an alternative policy scenario (even over relatively short timeframes). More generally, presenting scenarios as ‘business-as-usual’ may unintentionally...

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