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About this book

This book begins by discussing the problems caused by transportation emissions, the various types of emissions, and the impacts they have on public health, agricultural production, and climate change. The next several chapters then present technologies and policies from around the world, which can be used to solve some of these problems. Finally, the book discusses implications for the future, from both an industrial and governmental point of view.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Problems, Policies and Technologies

This introductory chapter provides perspective on the global and regional contexts of the problems posed by the emissions. The focus is on climate change and public health problems—and therefore on the kinds of emissions that contribute to those problems. The chapter addresses the enduring issues: What are the emissions’ chemical and physical features that are problematic? What are their effects on public health and climate change? What policies and technologies can mitigate the emissions? Black carbon (BC) receives special attention—both because it is one of the three most potent climate change forcing agents—along with carbon dioxide and methane—and because it is a worldwide public health problem causing millions of deaths per year. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the global economic recession, of course, suddenly reduced the levels of emissions of all types—a topic that is considered in the final chapter. The following six chapters provide more detailed mode-specific, industry-specific and country-specific analyses of the emissions as well as mitigation policies and technologies.
Thomas Brewer

Maritime Shipping: Black Carbon Issues at the International Maritime Organization

Ships are an important and growing source of anthropogenic black carbon emissions. Black carbon emissions from ships have grown 12% between 2012 and 2018 and represent about one-fifth of shipping’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions every year, based on their 20-year global warming potential. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has spent more than a decade studying how to define, measure, and control black carbon emissions from ships, with a particular focus on reducing the impact of black carbon emissions on the Arctic. At a recent workshop of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), participants agreed that there were six appropriate black carbon control policies that the IMO could consider, including black carbon emissions limits for ships and banning the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. The IMO’s separate efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gases (GHGs) from maritime shipping will indirectly reduce black carbon emissions. Reducing and eliminating black carbon emissions from ships can mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change, especially in the Arctic, and protect human and ecosystem health. Black carbon regulations could be in effect by 2023, although this may be delayed because IMO meetings have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bryan Comer

Transportation Air Pollution in China: The Ongoing Challenge to Achieve a ‘Blue Sky’

Air pollution is one of China’s most prevalent environmental issues, and it comes at an annual cost of over 1 million lives and around 0.66% of China’s GDP. Economic growth coupled with extensive motorisation has caused transport and specifically road transport to be a key contributor to air pollution through the emissions of PM2.5, NOx and O3 in particular. The Chinese government, over the last decade, has introduced an ambitious set of policies and measures to improve air quality, increasingly integrating its management with climate change management. This chapter provides an overview of general air quality policy frameworks and the measures that are specifically directed at reducing the transport impact. These include national emission standards, fuel consumption targets and fuel quality standards and the electrification of the vehicle fleet, for both private and public transport. Assessing the impact of these individual measures is difficult due to the multiple factors that determine air quality, although generally emissions of some air pollutants have decreased significantly in recent years—but others persisted or became worse.
Caroline Visser, Cristian Gonzalez

Road Transportation Emissions in India: Adopting a ‘Hub’ and ‘Spoke’ Approach Towards Electric-Driven Decarbonization

India is a growing market economy, and the transport sector accounts for 12% of India’s overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Transport also contributes to black carbon (BC) emissions and atmospheric pollutants that are a major cause of respiratory illnesses and death. An understanding of the spatial aspects of transport emissions in India can usefully inform strategies for mitigation. The chapter examines the data around two important spatial aspects of transport emissions in India, namely cities and high-density freight corridors and some of the main policy measures deployed to address them including fuel and vehicle emission standards and modal shifts in transport. From a long-term perspective, the chapter underscores the importance of shifting towards road transport decarbonization through policies aimed at vehicle electrification and examines major policy developments and initiatives in this regard in India. It also puts forward a few considerations for policy makers with regard to deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure which will be a major challenge to overcome in order to scale-up manufacture and deployment of electric vehicles.
Mahesh Sugathan

Opportunities for Future Tailpipe Emissions Regulation of Light-Duty Vehicles Within the European Union

The introduction of on-road real driving emissions (RDEs) tests for type approval and in-service emissions compliance has driven the reduction of on-road tailpipe emissions from light-duty vehicles within the European Union. However, further reductions of tailpipe emissions are possible. With the European Commission currently deliberating whether, after Euro 6, a further emission standard is necessary, this chapter discusses potential areas of improved emissions regulation in relation to light-duty vehicles. A general overview is given of the drivers for further reductions of tailpipe emission limits, the regulation of currently unregulated pollutants, improvements to the RDE test procedure as well as increases to durability and in-service conformity requirements.
Anna Krajinska

Transportation Emissions on the Evolving European Agenda

Transportation emissions account for one-fourth of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and they pose serious local public health problems in all European countries. Transportation’s black carbon emissions—which are particulate matter—are also major contributors to climate change as well as health problems. Although motor vehicles are the primary source of emissions within the transportation sector, the emissions from maritime shipping, aviation and railroads also contribute to climate change and public health problems. EU elections in 2019 changed the policy agenda for the European Parliament and the Commission, as their new members in both were more supportive of action on climate change and other environmental issues. Action on transportation, furthermore, has been among the priorities on the lists of sectors needing action. However, there have been policy conflicts among member states, among party coalitions in the Parliament and among members of the Commission. This chapter focuses on specific policy issues concerning emissions in the motor vehicle, maritime shipping, aviation and railroad modes, and it analyzes them in the context of pandemic-induced economic recovery programs.
Thomas Brewer

Emission Trading Systems in Transportation

Emissions trading systems (ETSs) apply a market-oriented approach to the control of pollutant emissions, affording flexibility to emitters to decide when and where emissions will be abated. Most ETSs to date have applied to a limited number of stationary sources in industry and the power sector, where emissions can be easily monitored and the ETS itself more easily administered. Still, the appeal of emissions trading as a market-based policy instrument has also prompted their deployment to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, usually by including fuels upstream as these enter into the market. Following a short introduction to the concept of emissions trading, this chapter provides an overview of four case studies where emissions trading has been applied to transportation: the New Zealand ETS; the Western Climate Initiative; the Transport and Climate Initiative; and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation. It concludes with a brief analysis of lessons learned and prospects for expanded use of emissions trading to manage emissions from transportation.
Elizabeth Zelljadt, Michael Mehling

The Future of Transportation Emission Issues

The coronavirus pandemic has already had significant short-term consequences for transportation emissions, particularly the much lower levels of emissions resulting from the declines in the use of all types of transportation (except bicycles and walking). How rapidly and how far the levels of emissions will rise during the next several years is an important question. The answer is substantially dependent on macro-economic conditions, as well as government policies, firms’ decisions, and public opinion. One possibility is that the deterioration of firms’ financial positions will inhibit their investments in energy efficiency equipment and other emission-reducing measures. At the same time, there are many opportunities to improve transportation systems’ infrastructure through government economic stimulus programs that can reduce emissions. Some projects are already in progress long before the pandemic and recession are over: installing electric recharging stations for motor vehicles, expanding high-speed rail systems, and developing seaport infrastructure to reduce the use of ships’ auxiliary diesel engines. There may also be a shift in public opinion, industry practices, and government policies in reaction to the extent to which soot from transportation, and other sectors, has contributed to the pandemic death rate by causing weak lungs and other unhealthy preconditions that make people more vulnerable to the coronavirus and to the extent to which soot has been a carrier of the virus from local ‘hot spots’ to wider regional, national, and even international areas.
Thomas Brewer
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