Freight CO2 emissions set to soar

CO2 emissions from freight transport will grow by 290% by 2050, replacing passenger traffic as the main source of emissions from surface transport, says the International Transport Forum (ITF).

As global trade patterns ships, international freight transport volumes are set to grow more than fourfold by 2050, with the average transport distance across all modes will increase by 12%, according to the ITF’s latest Transport Outlook.

“The foreseeable increase in global freight represents an unprecedented challenge for the world’s transport systems,” said José Viegas, Secretary-General, ITF.

The share of domestic transport of international freight flows accounts for 10% of trade-related international freight, but 30% of CO2 emissions, says ITF.

“Increasing capacity constraints in transport can act as a brake on economic growth. A quadrupling of freight emissions can seriously undermine climate change mitigation,” Mr Viegas added.

The report also points to four action items that the ITF says would help avoid such a scenario: to improve capacity management since many freight facilities are underutilised, invest in missing links to increase efficiency, prepare for mega ships with investment in infrastructure and increase the use of vehicles to improve load factors and reduce idle times across supply chains.


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