1. Present patterns of transportation – based mainly on petrol and diesel-fuelled motor vehicles – generate serious social, environmental and economic damage and are highly
unsustainable. At present, transportation consumes more than half of global liquid fossil fuels; emits nearly a quarter of the world’s energy-related CO2
; generates more than 80 per cent of the air
pollution in cities in developing countries; results in more than 1.27 million fatal traffic accidents per year; and produces chronic traffic congestion in many of the world’s urban areas. These costs to society, which can add up to more than 10 per cent of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), are likely to grow, primarily because of the expected growth of the global vehicle fleet.
2. Business-as-usual (BAU) will significantly enlarge vehicle fleets and exacerbate their costs
to society. If we continue on a BAU path, the global vehicle fleet is set to increase from around 800 million to between 2 and 3 billion by 2050. Most of this growth will take place in developing countries. Aviation growth is expected to increase exponentially in the coming decades, fuelled largely by income growth in developing countries. Carbon emissions from shipping could also grow by up to 250 per cent.
3. A three-pronged investment strategy is needed to transform this sector: promote access instead of mobility; shift to less harmful modes of transportation; and improve vehicles towards
lower carbon intensity and pollution. A fundamental shift in investment patterns is needed, based on the principles of avoiding or reducing trips through integrating land use and transport planning and enabling more localised production and consumption. Shifting to more environmentally efficient modes such as public and non-motorised transport (for passenger transport) and to rail and water transport (for freight) is recommended. Investment in public transport and infrastructure that promotes walking and cycling generates jobs, improves well-being and can add considerable value to regional and national economies. Improving vehicles and fuels is a priority in order to reduce urban air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Green transport policies will also reduce road accidents and alleviate poverty by improving access to markets and other essential facilities.