Skip to main content

Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions of transport beyond 2020: linking R&D, transport policies and reduction targets

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Better transport to lower emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are set to rise if present trends continue in rising demand for air and freight transport. Improving transport technology and establishing transport policies that are aligned with this vision could help to mitigate this situation.

Climate Change and Environment

Europe's transport sector will soon be responsible for releasing more than 30 % of total GHG emissions, prompting policymakers to think of new ways to reduce emissions. The EU has specific emissions reduction targets of 20 % by 2020, which could be achieved in part through better technology and improved policymaking under a comprehensive strategy. With this in mind, the EU-funded project GHG-Transpord aimed to link research and development with better transport policies and reduction targets. Outlining promising measures to reduce GHG emissions in the transport sector, the project assessed the cost of each step to drive down expenses associated with new technologies and processes. It also created four models to assess transport scenarios, refined them and encouraged implementation of policy measures to help reduce emissions in line with the new settings. The design of these scenarios involved, for example, ensuring the maximum effect of efficiency technologies and market forces in order to achieve a reduction in emissions. Subsequently, the project simulated the effect of policy recommendations and policies that emerged from the simulations to ascertain their validity in the long term. It worked on balancing the models with research requirements and upcoming transport policies. The results of the project were disseminated to concerned parties through the regularly updated project website, as well as through two workshops and a highly successful conference. The latter attracted policymakers, industry players and scientists who received a wealth of information regarding the results of the project and workshops. Recognising the need to plan even further than the year 2020, the project team proposed a powerful final strategy to reduce 60 % of transport emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. In line with EU goals, the proposal is meant to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, helping to bring about a brighter climate change outlook for Europe and the world.

Discover other articles in the same domain of application