Over the course of the next decade, the transport sector is expected to a major force behind the growing world demand for energy, the largest source of urban air pollution alongside industry, and a profuse manufacturer of the greenhouse gasses that lead to climate change. Transport is the largest end-use of energy in developed countries, and the fastest growing energy-dependent sector in most developing countries.
Since the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, several transport policies have been adopted to mitigate harmful emissions through the use of clean fuels, vehicle emission standards, and energy efficiency. DESA is working with experts in the automotive, oil, and technology sectors to help developing countries phase out lead and reduce sulphur content in fuels, promote more stringent emission standards such as EURO3 and EURO4, and improve vehicle inspection and maintenance programmes.
DESA also publishes information on good practices for wider use by transport officials. For instance, vehicle fleets in cities around the world are converting to compressed natural gas; ethanol is being blended with gasoline; and, biodiesel is offered as a fuel alternative in many countries. Some cities are phasing out two-stroke engines, which are highly polluting, while others are engaging in integrated urban road planning, and construction of pedestrian and bicycle-friendly infrastructure to reduce motorized transport and the greenhouse gasses that go with it.