Global Transport Sector Not On Track To Achieve “Sustainable Mobility” Goals, Report Says

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In a reminder of why CleanTechnica is in business and why we do what we do, the newly published Global Mobility Report 2017 has revealed that the global transport sector is not on track to achieve the goal of quickly transitioning to a “sustainable mobility” sector.

The new study is the first to assess the progress made to date in the transport sector as regards “sustainability” across 4 primary objectives — universal access, efficiency, safety, and green mobility — according to those involved.

The path towards “sustainability” in this case refers to climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, air pollution, physical inactivity, and noise pollution. It covers the ground, air, water, and rail transport sectors. Here’s an overview of some report findings:

Universal Access

  • Many people continue to lack access to transport. In Africa, an estimated 450 million people–more than 70% of the region’s rural population – are still unable to reach jobs, education and healthcare services due to inadequate transport.
  • Transitioning to sustainable mobility would allow Africa to become food self-sufficient and create a regional food market worth $1 trillion by 2030.

Learn more about universal access.


  • The main transport technologies in use today came out of the industrial revolution. Since then, the volume of car traffic has increased tenfold, while cycling and public transport have seen hardly any growth.
  • When considering all transport costs—including vehicle acquisition, fuel, operational expenses, and losses due to congestion—the move toward sustainable mobility can deliver savings of $70 trillion by 2050.

Learn more about transport efficiency.


  • Road transport claims the bulk of fatalities worldwide: it accounts for 97% of the deaths and 93% of the costs.
  • Aviation has seen a continuous reduction in the number of fatalities and fatal crashes over recent years. Some regions have even begun to experience zero fatalities.

Learn more about transport safety.

Green Mobility

  • The transport sector contributes 23% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and 18% of all man-made emissions.
  • The increase in cycling and e-bike use would save the world a cumulative $24 trillion between 2015 and 2050.

Green Car Congress adds some more highlights (or lowlights): “Among roughly 160 Nationally Determined Contributions representing 187 countries that submitted them as of 1 August 2016, 75% explicitly identify the transport sector as a mitigation source for reducing GHGs, and more than 63% of NDCs propose transport sector-specific mitigation measures. However, on an economy-wide scale, mitigation measures proposed in NDCs are expected to fall well short of a 2 degrees scenario. Based on existing transport-related policies and levels of ambition expressed in NDCs, the transport sector will also not be on track for a 2 degrees scenario by 2030 through the targets and measures proposed (assuming proportional sectoral contributions).

“In low-and middle-income countries, 98% of cities do not meet air quality guidelines, compared with 56% of cities in high-income countries. As a result, only 10% of people around the world live in cities that comply with WHO air quality guidelines.”

Obviously, going by the report findings, changes will need to be made if the discussed goals are to be met.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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