Energy Efficiency in Transport

Transport consumes around 19 percent of global energy use and produces 23 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions.

The energy efficiency partners of the Three Percent Club and sustainability partners of Sustainable Mobility for All and the Mission Possible Partnership are supporting progress in the transport sector and in achieving SDG7. This includes activities that support progress on:  

Energy and mobility nexus

The Energy and Mobility working group under the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) umbrella considers the energy implications of the transition to a low carbon and sustainable transport system. 

Starting from the Global Roadmap of Action toward Sustainable Mobility (GRA), three policy measures are considered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and promote low emission mobility:

  • Promote public discussion on new mobility solutions (in collaboration with the SuM4All Sustainability of the E-Mobility Model working group): promote public discussion about new mobility solutions 
  • Expand public transport infrastructure: with transport networks adjusted to demand requirements, with an emphasis on equitable access, including to bus, rail, demand-responsive service, cable-propelled transport and ferry transport 
  • Plan for freight integrated multimodal transport networks: optimal location of transport corridors, linear facilities, and hubs, based on the analysis of freight origins and destinations, including a rail network development plan. 

See also: Digital Toolkit for Energy and Mobility

Sustainable urban mobility  

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) promotes sustainable urban mobility through efficient energy use for the world's poorest citizens in cities, including access to public infrastructure, sidewalks, bike lanes and public transport.  

Many 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. There is an urgent need for programs and technologies that support lower-income people living in fast-growing cities. 

See also: Switching Gears: Enabling Access to Sustainable Urban Mobility

Vehicle fuel economy 

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

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) 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 and halve light-duty vehicle fuel economy (in l/100km or gCO2/km) by 2030. GFEI is providing support and capacity building to countries around the world to introduce policies that can make this happen. 

GFEI’s report on Securing Global Fleet Transformation: GFEI's ZERO Pathway sets out key actions to secure global fleet transformation to zero carbon vehicles by 2050. Working Paper 22 Vehicle fuel economy in major markets 2005-2019 from GFEI partner the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows poor progress globally on fuel efficiency and the huge potential benefits of a move to electric vehicles. 

It is essential though to take as comprehensive an approach to improve vehicle efficiency as possible. There is significant potential for electric vehicles and for efficiency improvements is in heavy-duty vehicles. A study by the International Council on Clean Transportation suggests that it is possible to improve energy efficiency in trucks by 35 percent by 2035.

Electrification and e-mobility  

The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) lead the Sustainability of the E-Mobility Model working group under the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) umbrella.  

Starting from the SuM4All GRA, this working group has developed policy recommendations for international development, national and local public policy communities: 1. Vision (targets and awareness); 2. Policy (policy framework for regulating and stimulating action and integrating mobility and energy policy); and 3. Implementation (pilot projects, capacity building, and financing tools).  

Sustainable shipping 

International shipping emits 2-3 percent of global GHG emissions, transporting close to 90 percent of global trade by volume. The Getting to Zero Coalition is an alliance of more than 140 companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, supported by key governments and IGOs that is committed to getting commercially viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels powered by zero-emission fuels into operation by 2030 – maritime shipping’s moon-shot ambition. The Coalition is also building the infrastructure for scalable zero-carbon energy sources across production, distribution, storage, and bunkering. For more information, please contact the Mission Possible Partnership

Other transport initiatives 

This is a decorative image of the SmartWay logo with a cloud, leaf and road. This US EPA partner program supports companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. More
Wiener Linien
The City of Vienna's public transport network Wiener Linien is rebranding itself as Greener Linien, linking public transport to climate and highlighting that 100 percent of the electricity used by Vienna's trams, underground and buses comes from renewable energy sources. 
Watch the video "Climate Fighting" on YouTube
Find out more about Greener Linien (in German)