The world’s roads are set to become ever more congested. Vigorous expansion in the transport sector is anticipated in the decades ahead. In terms of passenger kilometres, global transportation will probably more than double between 2015 and 2050. Freight volumes are likely to more than triple in the same period. In 2050, around 2.4 billion vehicles are expected to be in circulation worldwide – up from the one billion vehicles counted in 2015. infrastructure encompasses technologies that are used for protection from storms, heat, fire and flooding. The basic idea is that preventing damage caused by extreme weather events not only protects human life, but also helps to attenuate demand for materials by safeguarding buildings and infrastructure.
As far as the need to mitigate climate change is concerned, the prospects are alarming: If nothing is done to counter this development, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector could leap by as much as 60 percent by 2050.34 Any such course of events would be a setback for the climate. As things stand, the transport sector accounts for 24 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions
The increase in traffic, especially on the roads, harms more than just the environment: Particulates, nitrogen oxide and traffic noise also endanger human health, above all in urban areas. Around the globe, air pollutants cause the death of more than 3.5 million people a year.
In conjunction with the ongoing digitalization of the transport sector, new technologies create the opportunity to shape mobility in a way that is kinder to the climate and to the environment. “Technological progress can deliver around 70 percent of potential CO2 reductions through 2050. Reductions beyond that demand a new approach to mobility. In this area, there is still plenty room for manoeuvre. We need to do a lot more thinking about things like ’shared mobility’, modified logistical chains and even new modes of transport,” stresses ITF Secretary General José Viegas.
Sustainable transformation of the transport sector demands an integrated approach that combines traffic reduction, shifting traffic to climate-friendly modes of transport and improving efficiency in order to curb emissions. It is not just about substituting combustion engines with alternative drive systems such as e-mobility: The aim must be for sustainable urban and regional development to shape individual mobility for people and goods without leading to an inevitable increase in motorized road traffic. These challenges are the central areas where action is needed in the lead market for sustainable mobility, which breaks down into four market segments.
The market segment for alternative drive technologies comprises electric, hybrid and fuel cell drive systems (see Figure). As these technologies develop, penetrate the market and increasingly present genuine alternatives to conventional combustion engines, this will help decarbonize the transport sector and roll back dependency on oil-based fuels. The technology lines in the alternative fuels market segment serve the same goal.
Meanwhile, combustion engines must become more efficient if CO2 emissions are to be minimized in the transport sector. The products and technologies needed to do so are subsumed under the market segment for technologies to increase efficiency.
In the market segment for transportation infrastructure and traffic management, innovative measures and technologies will reduce mobility-related emissions. Smart transportation concepts that link up individual modes of transport have an important part to play here.