May 6, 2016
The emergence of low-carbon fuels and improved vehicle efficiency will cut carbon dioxide emissions from road transport by 29% in 2030.
This is the key conclusion of new analysis from Massachusetts-based Lux Research. “Low-carbon biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, and biomethane have lower well-to-wheel carbon intensities compared to their first-generation counterparts and play a pivotal role in cutting emissions, as does renewable electricity,” said Yuan-Sheng Yu, Lux research analyst.
According to Lux, first-generation biofuels, low-carbon fuels, and natural gas vehicles will together account for at least 45.4% of the potential fossil fuel displacement in road transportation in 2030.
First-generation biofuels have made incremental reductions in road transportation emissions over the years, but low-carbon biofuels will be the key driver in achieving 2030 emissions reduction goals with an average three to four times lower well-to-wheel carbon intensity profile.
However, without improved fuel efficiencies, emissions reduction falls short of targets set out at the Paris climate talks (COP-21) held in December 2015.
Editor’s comment: Global road transportation accounts for around 15% of all global carbon dioxide emissions – and its share is rising, making it a key target for emission cuts to fight climate change. A combination of low-carbon fuels, alternative fuel vehicles, and improved fuel efficiencies are expected to make a major impact on transport emissions by 2030. As Yuan-Sheng says: “Global warming remains at centre stage, and significant strides need to be made in road transportation technologies to achieve the goal set for 2030.”