Actions to reduce emissions and boost the resilience of freight transport and global supply chains

Freight transport accounted for around 40% of global transport emissions in 2019 and freight emissions are projected to nearly triple between 2015 and 2050. In order to meet Paris Agreement targets and keep the rise in average global temperature below 1.5°C, transport emissions must drop two-thirds below 2019 levels by 2050. Yet freight measures on decarbonisation and resilience are not proportionally reflected among policy priorities and remain overlooked in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Only a third of all second-generation NDCs include explicit, freight-related actions.

On the adaptation front, transport systems must stay operational during disasters, extreme weather events and other shocks. In addition, the way in which transport systems are planned and operationalised must limit or reverse creation of new risks, and reduce existing ones. Critical value chains should be identified and dependency on single transport modes and access points, like a single road, must be eliminated. National and cross-border coordination must work towards ensuring connectivity of critical value chains and functionality of infrastructure and services.

In all, freight transport is closely linked to economic activity, as logistics costs can account for between 6% and 25% of a country’s GDP and create high economic returns. The good news is that 90% of the global economy is already committed to becoming net zero, according to Oxford Net Zero. Out of the 128 countries committed to net zero, 104 aim to achieve it between 2040 and 2050. The key now lies in delivering net zero and adaptation targets with actions on the ground. Climate strategies and policy priorities need to quickly implement solutions on decarbonisation and resilience of freight transport.

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Guidelines_NDCs and Freight_Final version for release