Towards Decarbonising Transport | 2017

Taking Stock of G20 Sectoral Ambition

  • Publication
  • Study

This November nearly 30,000 delegates are convening in Bonn, Germany, to participate in the 23rd COP summit. While the transport sector was neglected for more than two decades in climate negotiations, it has gained new prominence in the wake of the COP21 summit in Paris. COP23 will focus on how to deliver on the ambitious targets of the Paris Climate Accord. And one thing is clear: limiting global warming to 2ºC will require robust policy action in the transport sector.

The transport sector already consumes more than half of global oil demand and accounts for almost one quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the sector’s emissions are on the rise, with some forecasts predicting emissions to grow 60% by 2050 (ITF Transport Outlook 2017, OECD/ITF). Such projected increases pose a major challenge to climate policy. They underscore that significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions in transport is essential for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In order to spotlight the crucial importance of the transport sector for climate policy, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Agora Verkehrswende have compiled the report “Towards Decarbonising Transport – Taking Stock of G20 Sectoral Ambition”. The report summarises the mitigation policies enacted for the transport sector by G20 countries, and illuminates where more action is needed. Ultimately, the report aims to serve as a valuable tool for the climate community to gain a better understanding of the overall status of CO2 mitigation policies in the transport sector.

Project management

Alexander Jung


Visit our events and find more about us!

Core results

  1. 1

    More ambition and action needed at the national level

    Since overall ambition is already falling short and transport is under-represented in the G20’s NDCs, there is a clear need for countries to adopt a comprehensive vision for transforming the transport sector. This vision must take into account potentials for promoting public and non-motorised transport, technological advancement, changing mobility patterns, and the development of new infrastructure. Currently we see individual measures going in the right direction, but they are not integrated into a coherent strategy that will allow meaningful progress.

  2. 2

    Collaboration between G20 members should be expanded

    Since the start of collaboration on vehicle efficiency, a number of G20 members have introduced efficiency standards for light and heavy duty vehicles. Future work should build on this success and aim to strengthen these standards towards zero emissions in the near- to mid-term. However, the decarbonisation of the transport sector will not be possible without addressing mobility choices and supporting alternative low-carbon modes of transport. Collaboration within the G20 could facilitate the exchange of best practice and knowledge sharing on new mobility solutions and technologies, thus providing an important boost to the adoption of policies and measures to transform transport.

  3. 3

    Transport needs to move up on the international agenda

    The formulation of the first NDCs has given valuable momentum to the decarbonisation of the transport sector, but no G20 member has defined a pathway for fully transforming the sector. The NDC cycle, which

    includes a stocktake in 2018 and the submission of updated contributions every five years, provides an excellent opportunity for countries to engage with relevant stakeholders and develop a clear and ambitious vision for the sector. The G20 should adopt clear and transparent targets for the transport sector, as this would empower national governments to undertake ambitious action in domestic legislation.

Bibliographical Data

  • Authors

    Marion Vieweg, Daniel Bongardt, Holger Dalkmann, Christian Hochfeld, Alexander Jung, Elena Scherer

  • Publication number


  • Release date


  • Number of pages


  • Citation

    Vieweg, Marion; Bongardt, Daniel; Dalkmann, Holger; Hochfeld, Christian; Jung, Alexander; Scherer, Elena (2017): Towards Decarbonising Transport – Taking Stock of G20 Sectoral Ambition. Report on behalf of Agora Verkehrswende and GIZ

All Content

Stay in touch. Subscribe to our newsletter.