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From Ambition to Action: Decarbonising Transport to Achieve Paris Agreement Targets

The technical brief “From Ambition to Action: Decarbonising Transport to Achieve Paris Agreement Targets” was developed by the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, GIZ, and BMUB to outline the mitigation requirements for transport under the Paris Agreement, the mitigation potential of transport to achieve a 1.5 Degree Scenario, the implications of transport targets for National Determined Contributions (NDCs) development, and the implications for Long Term Emission Reduction Strategies.

Most global scenarios assume a relatively low mitigation potential and high abatement cost for the transport sector, resulting in relatively modest carbon reductions by 2050. In the absence of further action, transport emissions could outpace projections and become a roadblock to avoiding irreversible climate change. However, recent research suggests greater mitigation potential for transport than previously assumed, and if countries collectively implement low-carbon solutions, the sector could achieve reductions approaching a 1.5-degree Celsius scenario, as called for in the Paris Agreement on climate change (United Nations 2015a).

Achieving full mitigation potential for transport will require a balanced implementation of low carbon policies that ‘Avoid’ the need for transport trips; promote a ‘Shift’ towards more effcient travel modes; and ‘Improve’ the effciency of vehicles and fuels. The chances that such a comprehensive approach is taken will increase if countries, cities and companies actively integrate development objectives in their policies on transport and climate change consistent with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations 2015b). Thus, there is a need for ambitious national and subnational transport targets in NDCs and other plans, coupled with immediate actions based on feasible decarbonisation pathways (Gota et al. n.d.).

The technical brief can be downloaded here.