Marion Vieweg, Daniel Bongardt, Christian Hochfeld, Alexander Jung, Elena Scherer, Rana Adib, Flávia Guerra

The transport sector is responsible for roughly one quarter of emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, with road traffic being the largest culprit. Most transport emissions are produced by G20 countries, and emission levels are still rising. However, if we are to meet the Paris climate target, those emissions must drop to near zero by 2050. This represents an enormous challenge, and one we must begin addressing now. For it involves more than merely replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with electric ones. We also need to transform the entire transport system and couple it to the electricity sector.

There is no single solution to making the transport sector carbon neutral. We need a multitude of measures – including some measures that are currently controversial. One thing is certain: if we postpone necessary measures, future efforts to keep global warming below the 2-degree mark will have to be all the more radical.

This study provides a clear picture of the state of G20 transport emissions, analyses already existing approaches for decarbonising the transport sector, and stresses the urgency of putting ambitious climate action on the political agenda. In the process, we hope to promote discussions about climate friendly transport, not just in G20 countries but everywhere. After all, the transformation of the transport sector can ­succeed only when the entire international community works together.