SLoCaT/ PPMC Provide Insights to the Talanoa Dialogue on the Critical Role of Transport Sector in Achieving Paris Agreement

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), on behalf of the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) and the SLoCaT members, has submitted input to the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue Platform highlighting the critical role of the transport sector in achieving the Paris Agreement.

The submission provided insights on the emission trends of transport and its critical role in reversing the current emission trends and realizing the Paris Agreement. It also shows that in order to achieve the 1.5 degree goal, an ambitious, pro-active low carbon transport approach is required for a transformational change in the sector. Collaborative action of countries, cities and companies, supported by civil society is key to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.

Full text of the submission is available here.

1.       Where are we?

The transport sector (including aviation and shipping) accounts for about 7.5 Gt of CO2 emissions annually. In 2012 transport was the largest energy consuming sector in 40% of countries worldwide and the second-largest energy consuming sector in most remaining countries; thus, transport is a key sector for reducing overall emissions.

Transport is currently off-track to meet Paris Agreement targets, with emissions projected to rise in most global BAU scenarios (figure 1). BAU transport projections would be roughly 3.5 times higher than a 2-degree Celsius goal and more than nine times higher than a 1.5-degree goal.

Figure 1: Transport Emission BAU Estimates and 2DS-1.5DS Targets

Analysis of the NDC targets indicates that implementation of currently proposed measures will not keep emissions within a 2-degree Celsius scenario (2DS) (figure 2).

Figure 2: Share of Mitigation Measures in NDCs by Mode and Sub-Sector

There is growing evidence, though, that transport can reverse current emissions trends, based in part on recent announcements on scaled up ambition. Since transport infrastructure related decisions “lock-in” transport demand for decades to come, policy decisions in the next two to five years will determine whether we are set on a course for a low-carbon transport future.

2.       Where do we want to go?

To achieve the 1.5-degree goal, we need to take an ambitious, pro-active low carbon transport approach, requiring a transformational change in the sector. Transport has the potential to decrease to 2.5 Gt by 2050 under an optimistic low carbon scenario (figure 3). It is close to the estimated 2.0 Gt of transport emissions in 2050 required to achieve a 1.5-degree Celsius scenario (1.5DS).

Figure 3: Low Carbon Transport Emission Trajectories

Fleet electrification must be broadly deployed in parallel with the decarbonisation of power generation. Realizing the full mitigation potential of transport will require the balanced implementation of low carbon policies that ‘Avoid’ (or reduce) the need for transport trips; promote a ‘Shift’ towards the most efficient travel modes; and ‘Improve’ environmental performance of vehicles and fuels. Development of co-benefits of a comprehensive set of ‘Avoid,’ ‘Shift,’ and ‘Improve’ measures may have greater value to policy makers than expected climate benefits.

The MPGCA Transport Initiatives represent a range of multi-stakeholder coalitions to reduce emissions from all modes of transport and strengthen resilience of transport infrastructure. These initiatives, if supported by state-and non-state actors, and implemented at scale, can reduce the carbon footprint of an estimated half of all passenger and freight trips by 2025.

3.       How do we get there?

Policy responses been successfully implemented in developed and developing countries, demonstrating potential of the transport sector to contribute to rapid steps toward decarbonization on a global scale. There is no silver bullet to decarbonize transport, instead it is a range of strategies that have to be embraced in a comprehensive manner covering all modes of transport.

The Quick Wins on Transport, Sustainable Development and Climate Change offer a course of immediate bold and ambitious action to kick-start the transformation of the transport sector and limit the lock-in effects of a high-carbon business-as-usual scenario.

To scale up action and meet the Paris objectives, the PPMC has crafted a global macro roadmap with a goal to achieve a net-zero emissions transport sector by 2060-2080.

Stakeholders from the public and private sector, UN organizations, MDBs, NGOs and other transport-related entities are forming collaborative mechanisms to mobilize actions on transport and climate change, such as the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, which is a “coalition of the willing” consisting of countries, cities/regions, and companies with the aim to achieve a net-zero emission mobility system by 2050. Other examples of  multistakeholder mechanisms include the ITF’s Decarbonising Transport project, the 21 MPGCA Transport Initiatives, the Sustainable Mobility for All Initiative, and the MDB Working Group on Sustainable Transport.

Full text of the submission is available here.

Source Banner image: ITDP