Assessing Options Towards Eco-efficient Transport: Results of a Survey
Jens Schippl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Markus Edelmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Max Reichenbach, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
The paper presents and discusses the results of a survey carried out among European scientist. Aim of the survey was to map and understand different assessments of the feasibility and desirability of pathways towards sustainable transport futures.
The European transport system – a basic pillar of economic growth and quality of life – is facing serious challenges. Among the most striking ones are environmental damages and negative social impacts such as health hazards, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accelerating climate change, oil dependency, as well as congestion. Further challenges are emissions of noise and other pollutants. Continuously increasing growth rates in the transport sector are a substantial driver behind the increases in energy consumption and GHG emissions. GHG emissions in the transport sector continue to grow, while they are decreasing in other sectors.
For coping with these challenges and for achieving a more sustainable transport system in the future, innovative approaches in the fields of technologies, business models and policy interventions need to be developed and implemented in an efficient way. A broad range of such approaches is discussed by experts. Often, these different kinds of innovations are ‘virtually’ implemented in scenarios to illustrate their potential impacts on the transport sector and beyond. Various scientific documents and studies such as roadmaps describe concrete measures to illustrate how to implement innovative approaches for achieving certain goals. However, transport is a complex system with many interrelated linkages between innovations, societal dynamics, policy intervention and other factors. Therefore, it is not astonishing that a closer look at the variety in expert studies, scenarios and roadmaps reveals that quite often different opinions exist about the potentials of different approaches.
For achieving a more accurate and more systematic picture on how experts assess the future development of crucial approaches towards a more eco-efficient and sustainable transport system, in the year 2013, a survey was conducted among 40 European scientists working in the field of transport. Aim of the survey was to map and understand different assessments of the feasibility and desirability of pathways towards more eco-efficient and sustainable transport futures. The survey contained 14 theses about potential future developments towards a more sustainable transport sectors. Some of them were related to fuels and propulsions technologies and others to information and communication technologies; yet others to policy interventions such as road pricing. For each of these theses questions related to the feasibility, to the desirability, to barriers and to impacts of the respective development were asked.
The proposed paper will present and discuss the results of this expert survey by comparing the main findings with the assumptions and results from other future oriented work (scenarios and roadmaps). On that basis, conclusions for policy implementation and research strategies in the transport sector will be drawn.
Association for European Transport