Low-Carbon Transport: Health and Climate Benefits
Emissions from road transport cause large problems in Asian countries with an enormous impact on the health of people as well as climate change. The objective of this Background paper is to provide an overview of the problems due to these emissions and the possibilities for implementation of low-carbon transport solutions in Asia. Outdoor air pollution due to road transport is causing a range of acute and chronic health effects including heart disease and strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseases, in particular in dense urban areas. This results, as is shown in this paper, in almost 100,000 premature death yearly in the Asian EST countries. The associated economic costs are estimated to be more than 81 billion US$. Low carbon transport solutions have a significant potential to contribute to a reduction in in both local emissions (health impact) as well as greenhouse gases (climate change impact). The amount of emissions depends on the amount of energy used multiplied with the emission intensity. A reduction in any of the three categories “km travelled”, “energy use per km” and “emission intensity” will lead to a reduction of emissions from the transport system. In this paper seven strategies have been defined leading to low carbon transport solutions: (1) Eco mobile city planning, (2) Reduction in transport needs, (3) Modal shift to more low-carbon or less energy intense transport modes, (4) Energy-efficient and low-emitting vehicles, (5) Higher occupancy and load per vehicle, (6) Efficient driving, and (7) Low carbon fuels. Electrification/hybridisation of the vehicle fleet - assuming that electricity can be produced sufficiently clean - represents a powerful strategy to reduce emissions and is applicable to a wide range of transport options including public transport, distribution of goods in urban areas, light duty vehicles and in particular also 2- and 3-wheelers. Almost all alternative fuel options presented in this paper, except for fuels and electricity based on coal, will gain public health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.