Maximizing national mitigation ambition requires optimizing contributions from transport. The latest estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that the transport sector contributed nearly 23% of global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion in 2012. Transport, with an average annual growth rate of 2.0% from 1990-2012, is among the fastest growing sectors of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion.
Tracking emissions trends in the transport sector (in the context of economy-wide emissions) is an essential step in defining possible transport components of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) from UNFCCC parties, and in helping to determine required contributions from transport to establish and achieve national and global mitigation targets. Yet, tracking global averages is of limited use to countries who are developing their INDCs to support the upcoming COP21 meeting in Paris, and therefore we must have a clearer understanding of transport emissions trends and differentiation at national levels to take effective actions to reduce global transport sector emissions and achieve an IPCC-recommended 2-degree scenario (2DS).
To inform the discussion on transport’s contribution to CO2 emissions and transport’s potential role in mitigation, the SLoCaT Partnership has developed an analysis to illustrate national and regional transport emissions trends in three areas: (1) transport sector share of emissions relative to total emissions from fuel combustion, (2) growth of transport sector emissions, and (3) absolute and per-capita emissions from transport, as normalized by a number of key variables. A key observation of the analysis is the large differentiation among transport emissions trends in individual regions and countries, underscoring the need to take a heterogeneous approach to tackling transport sector emissions worldwide.
The SLoCaT/PPMC analysis includes the following highlights: