New trends and challenges are shaping the transport sector at global and local levels. Resilience, as an interdisciplinary challenge influencing all levels of public authorities, has become a crucial feature of complex urban policy. Another important element of local policy is transport and mobility, which has strong links to various contemporary issues, including climate change, volatile fuel and energy markets, societies’ expectations around quality of life, the pandemic and armed conflicts.
Instability in the prices of primary energy carriers, for instance, is a destabilising factor in electricity and transport markets. Furthermore, the impact of the pandemic on the functioning of urban transport systems was manifold and had far-reaching consequences. The collapse in demand for public transport services during lockdowns translated into a drastic reduction in revenue from ticket sales even as many cities tried to maintain or even increase supply during peak times of the day to avoid congestion in vehicles, a source of additional running costs.
A deterioration of the revenue base in Polish municipal governments (partly as a result of unfavourable legal and taxation changes) and rising costs (inflation, fuel/energy prices, salaries) has forced many authorities to decrease the availability of public transport. An analysis of Polish cities noted that “cutting spendings on cleaning services and the transport supply service as a response to the reduced number of passengers would be more devastating for public transport than postponing new infrastructure investments.” A continuation of this trend towards decreased availability of public transport would make private car ownership more desirable and further increase pollution in the transport sector.
Cities should adjust their development paths to current and future issues – treating them not as threats but as opportunities to establish resilient cross-sectoral systems. Four thematic areas and their respective policies present a solid link with transport policy at the local level: climate change, urban development, digitalisation and employment.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.
Railway development: lessons for the EU
This paper analyses how EU railway policy for a low-carbon future can be enhanced, drawing insights from Japan and Switzerland.
Ramping up energy storage: lessons for the EU
This paper explores how the EU can enhance its policy for a low-carbon future by learning from successful energy storage approaches in California, South Korea, and Australia.