Low-carbon passenger transport solutions

Photo Credit: DIGR

Background

The project aims to demonstrate solutions that have high impact for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon emissions, from passenger transport, so that they can be further rolled out by target individuals and organisations, thereby contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

The transport sector presents significant opportunities for climate change mitigation in South Africa. Direct transmission emissions (ie from fuel combustion) constitute about 13% of the country’s carbon emissions. Road transport accounts for 94% of transport emissions, with the greatest share of these (27%) coming from cars. While the majority of South Africans’ travel is energy-efficient, transport energy use is highly skewed towards the high-income households, many with two cars. As more South Africans enter the middle class, the number of cars on the road is growing exponentially and emissions along with them. Trips for education account for 41% of household trips and 15,7 million trips annually, and work commutes for 27% and 9,9 million. So reducing passenger kilometres (one person travelling one kilometre) and shifting to lower-carbon modes for these two trip purposes would make a significant contribution to reducing South Africa’s emissions.

The project’s interventions are targeted precisely where the greatest leverage is needed for emissions reduction in passenger transport. The project is piloting innovative and replicable interventions which reduce passenger kilometres (and thereby carbon emissions) from scholar transport at up to three schools, and work commuting at up to three companies. The project aims to catalyse changes in travel behaviour and methods for scholar and work trips by producing replicable and scalable solutions which get taken up at more schools and workplaces.

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