IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

5.1 Introduction

Mobility is an essential human need. Human survival and societal interaction depend on the ability to move people and goods. Efficient mobility systems are essential facilitators of economic development. Cities could not exist and global trade could not occur without systems to transport people and goods cheaply and efficiently (WBCSD, 2002).

Since motorized transport relies on oil for virtually all its fuel and accounts for almost half of world oil consumption, the transport sector faces a challenging future, given its dependence on oil. In this chapter, existing and future options and potentials to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) are assessed.

GHG emission reduction will be only one of several key issues in transport during the coming decades and will not be the foremost issue in many areas. In developing countries especially, increasing demand for private vehicles is outpacing the supply of transport infrastructure – including both road networks and public transit networks. The result is growing congestion and air pollution,[3] and a rise in traffic fatalities. Further, the predominant reliance on private vehicles for passenger travel is creating substantial societal strains as economically disadvantaged populations are left out of the rapid growth in mobility. In many countries, concerns about transport will likely focus on the local traffic, pollution, safety and equity effects. The global warming issue in transport will have to be addressed in the context of the broader goal of sustainable development.

  1. ^  Although congestion and air pollution are also found in developed countries, they are exacerbated by developing country conditions.