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Development Account Projects

Facilitating climate change adaptation in transport
through addressing the energy-environment linkage

Background:

Globalization and liberalization of national economies are leading to a permanent increase in transport activities. With regard to road transport, the growing vehicle fleet and the related increasing fuel consumption contributes to the global warming effect by greenhouse gas emissions. The most important component of the negative effects is carbon dioxide (CO2 ). CO2 emissions depend not only on the total energy consumption of the different modes of transport, but also on the shares of the different energy sources used and their contributions to global warming. Globally, the transport sector is considered to be responsible for 23 per cent of the world CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. In the developed Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries transport accounts for 30 per cent of all CO2 emissions. The transport sector is 95 per cent dependent on oil and accounts for 60 per cent of world oil consumption, which exposes the sector increasingly to oil price instability and supply shocks.

The recently concluded first global meeting of transport ministers within the framework of the International Transport Forum, held from 28 to 30 May 2008, in Leipzig, Germany, addressing the energy and climate change challenges for the transport sector, stressed the need for CO2 abatement focusing on improved fuel efficiency in road transport. This could be achieved through different measures, such as fuel-efficient vehicles, sustainable alternative fuels, such as biofuels, improved transport infrastructure and intelligent transport systems, consumer information and legal instruments as well as tax incentives. In this respect, the ECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations has been urged by the International Transport Forum to accelerate the development of common methodologies and methods to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions

In order to evaluate the implementation of new national or regional measures aimed at reducing the contributions of transport to global warming, Governments and the private sector have to analyse alternative strategies, including the composition of total energy consumption in the transport sector. While the data and methodologies available to measure transport activity, energy consumption and CO2 emissions are sufficient to track general trends, the quality and coverage of such data and methodologies will need to be considerably improved. To enable Governments to make the right policy decisions and to optimize their strategy on CO2 reduction targets, there is a need to develop well-defined standard monitoring and assessment tools taking into account the latest developments in transportation. Such a toolkit, to be available to Governments, regional commissions and other interested stakeholders, must also be transparent to ensure that decisions are not biased by the specific interests of different pressure groups.

ECE would supervise the work of a team of experts to prepare a standard toolkit and, together with other regional commissions and United Nations system organizations, would prepare adequate training material tailored to the specific needs of different regions and subregions. All regional commissions would organize and conduct international and regional workshops to disseminate relevant information and training material in the respective languages applicable in the regions.

 

Objective:

Standard and transparent evaluation of the CO2 footprint of land transport with a view to raising awareness among Governments and other stakeholders and providing a rational basis for sustainable transport policies

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased awareness of the causality and interrelationship between transport, energy and CO2 emissions leading to enhanced intersectoral and intercountry cooperation and planning towards sustainable transport policies
  • Enhancement of the ability of the countries to monitor and assess current and future energy consumption patterns of the land transport modes and their respective CO2 emissions through the establishment and use of a standard CO2 toolkit, available free of charge via the
    Internet

Implementation status:

The second year of the project implementation was successful. UNECE organized an International Expert Meeting, held in Geneva on 24 April 2012, gathering an audience of governmental focal points, representatives of the academia and representatives of relevant international organizations at governmental and non-governmental level, and project members from the UN Regional Commissions.

A Global Status Report, containing a review on statistics, mitigation polices and modelling tools related with CO2 emissions from inland transport, had been presented at the meeting. A number of comments have been received and allowed the final release of the Global Status Report in October 2012. A peer review round table was organized back to back with the International Expert Meeting. During that round table, peer reviewers considered and agreed on a Concept Document, containing the methodological outline of the ForFITS model.

On the basis of that concept document, a first version of the ForFITS model has been developed in the second half of 2012. An operational ForFITS prototype, developed in the Vensim modelling environment, was finalized in December 2012.

More detailed information is available on: http://www.unece.org/trans/theme_forfits.html