Introduction: The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice has been a source of ideas and wisdom the topic of sustainable transportation and sustainable lives since the first edition in 1993. The Journal is distinguished by its unflinching commitment to sustainable transport, embracing the urgent need to cut global emissions, to reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on economic objectives than on the environment and social justice. (For older editions view the Journal archives .)
The effective decarbonisation of the transport sector will play a large role in achieving the UK government target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases, from the 1990 baseline, by 2050. This paper presents a vision of a ‘zero carbon’ future for the UK transport sector.
Vallack, H. W., Haq, G., Whitelegg, J. and H. Cambridge (2014). Policy pathways towards achieving a zero carbon transport sector in the UK in 2050. World Transport Policy and Practice. Volume 20.4. Published by Ecologica.
It quantifies and assesses the contributions that a range of behavioural, fiscal, spatial planning and technological carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction measures can make in assisting the UK to move towards a ‘zero carbon’ transport sector by 2050. Two scenarios for 2050 are compared: a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (with continuation of present trends and policies) and a maximum impact (MI) scenario in which all feasible interventions for achieving a ‘zero carbon’ UK transport sector are applied. Although road and rail transport could both achieve the zero CO2 emission target by 2050, emissions from aviation and shipping are more problematic.
For the 2050 MI Scenario, the net result from the entire UK transport sector (including international aviation/shipping) is 76 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the 2050 BAU scenario. This falls short of a zero carbon target for UK transport and is due to the remaining CO2 emissions from aviation (56 per cent reduction) and shipping (49 per cent reduction). To improve the overall CO2 emissions reduction for transport would require more radical interventions or technological innovations for these two sectors than envisaged here.
This visioning and backcasting analysis shows that the potential to reduce UK’s transport CO2 emissions is much larger than has hitherto been recognised.
Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight-Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh, @ericbritton. @worldstreets and firstname.lastname@example.org
This issue brings together two important strands of thinking in sustainable mobility and the bigger picture around how the world is changing and now faces a rather stark choice. We can either go down the route of high quality, people-centred, healthy, active, child-friendly cities or we can finish the job started by Henry Ford and shape a future dominated by vehicles and technology, exterminate walking, cycling and public transport and deeply entrench our total submission to a space greedy, dollar-greedy, unhealthy technological domination of the way we live. The latter is the world of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles (AVs) and is now attracting large scale support and buy-in from politicians, corporations and environmental groups.
In this issue, we return to some key themes in sustainable transport. The article by Wendy Sarkissian and Lori Mooren reflects on the death in a road crash of Wendy’s husband and puts this dreadful experience in a wider context of how we should deal with eliminating death and injury on the roads and how we should improve our ability to react to tragedies of this kind. At a time when 3 cyclists this year (January and February 2017) have been killed in London (see reference list) we are even more acutely aware than ever that these horrific tragedies are not interrogated systematically and thoroughly and not translated into immediate action to get the chances of death and serious injury as near to zero as we can.
This is the point of Vision Zero, the Swedish road safety policy that says “a mistake in the road traffic environment must not attract the death penalty”.
This issue of WTPP reminds us that India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
We would like to explore the underlying factors that have produced such a large loss of life and decline in quality of life and also to explore the links between transport and poverty alleviation. We know that Kolkata has one of the world’s oldest tram systems, a metro, an urban railway and river ferries but we hear very little about how these assets are being put to use to encourage higher levels of use and lower level of car use. We hear about the abolition of diesel fuelled vehicles and car rationing by odd/even number systems in Delhi but we don’t know how effective these have been. We also hear very little about pedestrian and cyclist facilities in Indian cities and the contribution they can make to air quality, reducing congestion and alleviating poverty. So please contact us!
But there is more to Vol 21, No. 4 than that. Let’s have a look . . .
Professor John Whitelegg writes in the lead editorial of the latest edition of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP Vol 21, No. 4, February 2016) *:
India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice marks the migration of the journal and its associated web site to a new location. The new web site address is: http://worldtransportjournal.com
The new site will also contain information from our US partners, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities Research & Policy Institute and occasional announcements about new books and resources that will assist the global community seeking to accelerate the transition to a genuinely sustainable transport future. This transition is now more urgently needed than ever and future issues of the journal will try very hard to communicate the urgency and practicality of this transition to those who make the decisions.