The transport sector worldwide is currently responsible for 13% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 23% of all energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Total global GHG emissions from the transport sector are predicted to increase by 120% between 2000 and 2050, and it has been estimated that developing countries will be responsible for approximately 80% of this increase. Increasing emissions from the transport sectors of developing countries are being attributed to rapid motorisation, which also accompanied economic growth in developed countries. If we are to limit per capita emissions to the two tonnes of CO2 equivalent that is required to avoid irreversible climate change, economic growth and CO2 emissions from the transport sector need to be decoupled and accessibility via low-carbon transport modes enhanced. This will lead to environmental, economic and social benefits in developing countries, and provide a strong and sustainable foundation for growth.
This Insight Report explores ways in which low-carbon mobility can be achieved in the land passenger transport sectors of developing countries. In doing so, it suggests the type of approaches, strategies and policy measures that can support low-carbon mobility, and also the type of financing, technology transfer and capacity building support that developing countries will require to realise this goal. This report refers to numerous projects conducted by TRL that have been commissioned in recognition of the fact that transport networks in developing countries are currently at a crossroads. It concludes that, with the necessary political will to support, enable and sustain this process, there is the potential to prevent a “lock-in” of unsustainable mobility patterns.

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