Energy and Transport

Transport consumes around 19% of global energy use and produces 23% of energy-related CO2 emissions. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the transport sector has the highest growth of CO2 emissions of any sector - its contribution to energy related CO2 emissions are estimated to go from one quarter today to one-third by 2050. Black carbon from pollutant emissions is also set to increase similarly with major health and short-term climate impacts. 

Initiatives that support progress in the transport sector and in achieving SDG7 include the offers of the Three Percent Club and working groups of Sustainable Mobility for All

Energy and Transport: Sustainable Urban Mobility 

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) promotes sustainable urban mobility through efficient energy use for the world's poorest citizens. We do this by investigating broader mobility systems in cities, including people's access to public infrastructure, such as sidewalks or bike lanes, as well as public transport. 

Many existing programmes and technologies are designed for middle- to high-income economies — people with the purchasing power to adopt the most efficient technologies. But promoting electric or high-efficiency private vehicles does little to support those who rely on affordable public mobility options in developing countries (e.g. trucks, buses, mini-buses, matatus, tuk-tuks). There is an urgent need for programs and technologies that support lower-income people living in fast-growing cities. This is crucial for achieving the sustainable energy transition envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and the Paris Agreement.

In collaboration with other sustainable mobility organizations, SEforALL is applying its Energy Efficiency First approach towards identifying scalable improvements and transport solutions for the people who need it most.

Global Fuel Economy Initiative

The global fleet of passenger vehicles is set to increase rapidly. Ninety per cent of this growth is set to take place in developing and transitional economies. Ensuring people and freight are mobile as efficiently and safely is an essential component of the energy transition.

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) is the centrepiece of the vehicle efficiency accelerator. Its primary aim is to reduce emissions and at least double the efficiency of the global vehicle fleet from an average of 8l/100 km in 2005 to 4l/100 km by 2050. It also aims to halve new light-duty vehicle fuel economy (in l/100km or gCO2/km) by 2030. This could save 1Gt CO2 annually by 2025, increasing to 2Gt CO2 annually by 2050. GFEI is providing support and capacity building to over fifty countries around the world to introduce policies that can make this happen. The target of working in 100 countries which was announced at COP21 continues to drive GFEI's capacity-building objective on this issue.

It is essential though to take as comprehensive an approach to improve vehicle efficiency as possible. There is significant potential for electric vehicles to contribute to reduced emissions and improved energy efficiency, and this is incorporated within GFEI's support and capacity building activities with countries. Another area that has enormous potential for efficiency improvements is in heavy-duty vehicles. A recent study by the International Council on Clean Transportation suggests that it is possible to improve energy efficiency in trucks by 35% by 2035 as a result of introducing new standards across major economies. Again, this is being incorporated into the work of the vehicle efficiency accelerator.

Energy and Mobility Working Group

SEforALL and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)-High Volume Transport (HVT) Applied Research Programme lead the Energy and Mobility working group under the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) umbrella. The working group aims at implementing action on low emission mobility addressing the nexus between transport, energy and climate.

The Energy and Mobility Working Group considers the energy implications of the transition to a low carbon and sustainable transport system. It focuses on the impact of a shift to new mobility solutions and business models and electric vehicles (EV) on energy demand. It also considers alternative and transitional energy sources for urban transport.

Starting from the Global Roadmap of Action toward Sustainable Mobility (GRA), the group reviews how to implement three policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and promote low emission mobility.

  • Promote public discussion on new mobility solutions (in collaboration with the E-mobility Working Group): promote public discussion with civil society about new mobility solutions to generate new ideas, innovations and tools
  • Expand public transport infrastructure: expand the public transport network adjusted to demand requirements, with an emphasis on equitable access and considering the most appropriate modes in each context, including bus, rail, demand-responsive service, cable-propelled transport and ferry transport
  • Plan for Integrated Multimodal Transport Networks: plan for the optimal location of transport corridors, linear facilities, and hubs from a multimodal network perspective, based on the analysis of freight origins and destinations, including a rail network development plan