The DECC Global Calculator and the Role of the Transport Sector in Tackling Climate Change



The DECC Global Calculator and the Role of the Transport Sector in Tackling Climate Change

Authors

Jo Baker, Mott MacDonald

Description

The Global Calculator, developed by the Department of Energy and Climate, assesses the role of different energy-consuming sectors in contributing to climate change.

Abstract

The Global Calculator was developed by the UK Department of Energy and Climate to assess the role of different energy-consuming sectors in contributing to climate change at 2050. The tool enables different experts to contribute scenarios which might help to restrict temperature rises.
The Global Calculator was released as a call for evidence by the DECC, IEA and the Climate-KIC consortium to enable experts to comment on the data, assumptions, findings and presentation of results. The purpose of the exercise was to source a range of perspectives from different groups of experts in order to construct potential scenarios which might limit climate change to a 2oC rise in temperature. The tool is available as a resource for use by all interested practitioners and the paper will seek to encourage ETC participants to provide their own inputs and ideas.
The paper will provide and introduction to the tool and feedback on the personal experience of preparing a scenario for the calculator as a part of a multi-disciplinary team. It will introduce and discuss the various levers the Calculator uses to assess transport impacts, and the scenarios assumed within the tool. Because of the multi-disciplinary nature of the tool the range of transport levers is limited, and of course the impact of transport becomes only one facet of a larger challenge.
The paper will discuss the challenges of predicting changes in transport trends, not for the UK, or the EU, but on a global basis, and the risks inherent in such an approach. In many cases there may be a difference between our expectations of potential outcomes, and the outcomes we might be able to achieve with optimal governance. The paper will consider how, as professionals, we need to encourage the adoption of targets which are both challenging but also potentially achieveable.
On the basis of the tool’s assumptions the paper will consider the degree to which transport practitioners can tackle climate change in isolation, and the importance of integration across disciplines to understand the interaction of transport with food, housing etc.
At present the tool considers each level in isolation and this paper will consider the ways in which a system dynamic modelling approach might offer value to any future similar tool by providing a mechanism to assess changes in different sectors in a consistent manner.

Publisher

Association for European Transport