Urban Insight | How do we limit the CO2 impact of transport?


Urban Insight | How do we limit the CO2 impact of transport?

14 May 2020
Following the latest Urban Insight report, we examined how we are dealing with the reduction of carbon emissions in infrastructure projects in Belgium. This time we explain the 'Roadmap for Goods Transport 2030'. With this route plan, Sweco, in collaboration with the government and scientific partners, is helping to shape the Flemish climate and mobility policy.

Sweco carried out the study 'Roadmap for Goods Transport 2030' on behalf of the Flemish government, Department of Mobility and Public Works. This was done in close collaboration with the Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology Research Centre (MOBI) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels) and the Flemish Institute for Logistics (VIL).

The study was launched in response to a request from the government for a scientific basis to encourage public debate on measures to reduce the impact of goods transport on climate and air pollution. Freight traffic accounts for some 22% of the total Flemish greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, it is expected that this share will only increase as a result of the growth in the logistics sector. This is in contrast to other sectors.

The study examined the fullest possible range of potential measures: from kilometre charges, the use of local sharing economies and alternative fuels to the construction of motorways for electric lorries. The challenge was to identify the technical, economic and social aspects of future policy, so we started from a very broad spectrum with more than 300 possible measures.

Modelling and stakeholder process
We have calculated the various measures in order to derive a robust and well-founded set from this longlist. This was done on the basis of two global traffic models (Strategic Freight Model and Trabam), in order to test the effectiveness of the measures. For example, they aimed for a modal shift - increased efficiency - in order to achieve a reduction in the number of kilometres travelled with combustion engines.

We also asked more than 80 stakeholders from the logistics sector about the feasibility or desirability of various measures. A so-called MAMCA (multi-actor multicriteria analysis) was also carried out. This revealed the differences in perception between, for example, government actors and logistics service providers.

Climate ambitions
The ultimate aim of the study was to draw up a roadmap: a step-by-step plan that indicates the most cost-efficient, logical and feasible way to achieve the climate ambitions (2030 and 2050) in time. Ultimately, a combination of measures was obtained which, based on the modelling and the stakeholder process, has proven to be the most effective to achieve emission reductions by 2050. These significant actions include efforts to increase inland navigation, urban distribution and the electrification of goods transport.

Read also: 'Limiting infrastructure carbon emissions is key to solving the climate crisis'
Website: www.swecourbaninsight.com