This report highlighted that the current patterns of transport activity, based primarily on private motorised vehicles, generates many social, environmental and economic costs, represented for example by:
■ Consumption of more than half of global liquid fossil fuels;
■ Emission of nearly a quarter of the world’s energy- related CO2.
■ The source of typically more than 80 per cent of developing cities’ local air pollutants;
■ More than 1.27 million fatal traffic accidents per year, mostly in developing countries; and
■ Chronic traffic congestion amounting to time and productivity loss.
Such costs, which can add up to nearly or over 10 per cent of a region or country’s GDP, were shown to grow further under the current trends of ever-increasing motorisation. This trend is unsustainable.
There is a need for a fundamental shift in investment patterns, based on the principles of:
■ Avoiding or reducing trips through integration of land use and transportation planning, and localised production and consumption;
■ Shifting to more environmentally efficient modes such as public transport and non-motorised transport and to rail and water transport (for freight); and
■ Improving fuels and vehicles through introduction of cleaner more efficient fuels and vehicles.
Models and scenarios show that a global paradigm shift is possible; investing in green transport measures could reduce emissions of the global transport sector by as much as 70 per cent. However this is only achievable with integrated policies that combine measures from all three components of the Avoid, Shift and Improve strategy.
Quantitative analysis using an integrated macro- economic model suggests that a small reallocation of investments (approximately 0.16 to 0.34 per cent of
global GDP) in support of public transport infrastructure and efficiency improvement of road vehicles would (in the year 2050, and compared to BAU) avoid travel volume of road vehicles by 27 per cent and 35 per cent, shift the share of private-car transport to other modes (by nearly 30 per centage points), reduce oil-based fuel usage by between 16 per cent and 31 per cent, reduce carbon emissions by 5 to 8.1 Gigatonnes (38 to 63 per cent compared with BAU), and retain strong and growing employment. Most of the green transport measures would actually be cost-efficient – for example major carbon reductions can be achieved with little or no extra investment.
Moving towards a green transport sector as part of an overall green economy strategy would also result in:
■ Green growth, by supporting cities congestion, air pollution and other costs;
■ The creation of jobs, particularly through the development for public transport infrastructure and operations; and
■ The alleviation of poverty by increasing affordability of transport and improving accessibility to markets and other essential facilities.
Furthermore, it was highlighted that, among others, such investment should be enabled via:
■ Policies, including land use planning to promote compact or mass transit corridor-based cities and conservation-based transportation infrastructure, regulation of, for example, fuel and vehicle standards, and the provision of information and awareness raising (e.g. on the health and safety benefits of active travel such as cycling and walking) to promote behavioural change in the form of modal choice;
■ A shift in financing priorities towards public and non- motorised transport, coupled with strong economic incentives (via taxes and charges) to promote sustainable consumption patterns and behaviour and to ensure green modes are commercially feasible and economically attractive; and
■ Development and application of green transport technology.