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TRANSPORT Decarbonisation Scenarios

Transport is one of the highest emitting sectors on the Island, comprising the greenhouse gas emissions from our fossil fuel-reliant road, sea and air travel.  In 2022, the most recent update to the Island’s emissions inventory, transport was the third largest contributor to climate change on the Island; highlighting the need for a structured and well-informed approach to reducing emissions in this sector.   

To assist in this process, the Climate Change Transformation Team with input from the Department of Infrastructure, commissioned an independent report to identify ways in which the Island could meet our climate targets in the transport sector, following the approach that has been used for the energy and heating sectors.  The report was produced by SYSTRA, a transport and mobility consultancy, and suggests scenarios and options for emissions reduction which provide Government with a useful source of data and information when developing strategies and policies in this area. 

What are the Island’s emission reduction targets?

The Climate Change Plan 2022-2027 sets a target of reducing transport emissions by 15% by 2027.  Further interim targets in the Climate Change Act require a 35% and 45% reduction in our overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 2035, to keep the Island on track for our final target of net zero emissions by 2050.  ‘Net zero’ refers to the point at which the carbon emissions that are caused by human activities are equal to the carbon emissions being absorbed and stored by plants and habitats. 

What are the benefits of transport decarbonisation?

Transport shapes our built environment and communities, as well as our health and quality of life, so the measures we take to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in this sector can have wider positive impacts on people and places.  For example, zero-emission vehicles bring local air quality and noise reduction benefits, as well as lower operating costs and benefits for energy storage and smart grid opportunities.  Greater uptake of public transport reduces congestion, and active travel (walking, wheeling and cycling) also brings improvements to physical and mental health, with new technologies such as electric bicycles helping to make this form of travel more accessible.  Reduced congestion from lower private vehicle use can make our roads and streets quieter and safer for all, including those who remain reliant on their vehicles for work and general mobility. 

How will the report help us to achieve these targets and benefits? 

The Transport Decarbonisation Scenarios report is now available as a source of data and information which can be accessed and utilised by Departments in the development of relevant strategies and policies.  This includes the inclusive Transport Strategy being developed by the Department of Infrastructure, which will consider the options presented in the Scenarios report to ensure the Strategy supports our transition to net zero.  The report’s recommendations also provide guidance for a range of future projects relating to transport decarbonisation, from improving data quality, to investigating biofuel feasibility, and delivering a strategic approach to electric vehicle charging.  

A model for this approach to strategy development can be seen in the energy sector, where the 2021 Future Energy Scenarios informed the resulting Energy Strategy.  Furthermore, the Renewable Heating Scenarios are being used to develop the forthcoming Low Carbon Heat Strategy for the Island. 


View the Executive Summary.  A full Technical Report and Appendices are also available. 


The independent advice provided in the report will now be considered and utilised where appropriate and feasible; for example, in the development of the Transport Strategy, which will be subject to further public consultation.  

The most significant components of transport emissions are petrol and diesel usage for cars.