Low carbon transportation

Transport is a prime contributor to carbon emissions. Much of our work centres around decarbonisation - strategy, alternative fuels, technologies, attitudes - impacting nearly all areas of our research and consultancy.

The decarbonisation of road transport is key to meeting the commitments of the Paris Agreement. TRL has played an active role in helping to support this both through our involvement in international partnerships and in individual research projects. We were a key partner in the international initiative ‘Bridging the Gap’ (2012-16): we worked with international partners to ensure surface transport was included in international climate change negotiations. Our teams attended numerous United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and liaison events. We provided input to the UNFCCC negotiating text and organised expert workshops, side events and an annual Transport Day. We’re also active members of SLoCAT, the partnership on sustainable low carbon transport.

Through our research projects, we support low-carbon growth by:
  • Carbon footprinting and lifecycle analysis to compare low carbon materials and designs as road construction options
  • Assessing recycled and secondary materials and encouraging their use through information, guidance and inclusion in technical standards
  • Expanding the use of local materials for road construction to reduce the carbon emissions associated with importing by transport. TRL has developed guidelines for the use of local materials
  • Assessing alternatively fuelled vehicles including compressed natural gas (CNG), electric and hydrogen
  • Supporting the introduction of sustainable modes of transport, such as Bus Rapid Transport, walking and cycling

Working with the Asian Development Bank, TRL has written a number of thought pieces on transport and climate change. We prepared a low carbon growth map for East Asia and developed a transport demand model to estimate vehicle emissions. We have also produced a sustainability toolkit for transport projects for the World Bank and contributed to guidance on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for transport.



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