Transport and climate change: Simulating the options for carbon reduction in London

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, organisation - management


Transportation control measures, Smog control, Simulation, Scenarios, Projections, Policy making, London, Forecasting, Emission control, Computer simulation, Climatic changes, Climate change, Carbon dioxide, Air quality management, Air pollution control


Transport is a major user of carbon-based fuels, and it is increasingly being highlighted as the sector which contributes least to carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. This paper reports on the findings of the VIBAT London study (www.vibat.org) which considers the role of the transport sector in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in London. The analysis develops a transport and carbon simulation model (TC-SIM) for London. Within this, users are able to consider the implementation of a series of potential policy packages--low emission vehicles, alternative fuels, pricing regimes, public transport, walking and cycling, strategic and local urban planning, information and communication technologies, smarter choices, ecological driving and slower speeds, long distance travel substitution, freight transport and international air. They can select variable levels of application to help achieve headline carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. The roles of carbon rationing and oil prices are also considered. TC-SIM can be played in different user modes: as 'free riders', 'techno-optimists', 'enviro-optimists', 'complacent car addicts' and other typical travel market segments, including a 'free role'. Game playing or scenario testing such as this helps to highlight perceived levels of homogeneity of views within certain cohorts, the development of entrenched positions and the likely success in achieving objectives. The paper develops various policy packages, scenarios and pathways aimed at reducing transport carbon dioxide emissions. It argues that strategic carbon dioxide emission reduction targets are very ambitious relative to current progress, and that we need to act more effectively across a wide range of policy mechanisms, with a 'high intensity application' of many of the options, to get near to achieving these targets. A critical issue here will be in communicating and gaining greater 'ownership' of future lifestyle choices with stakeholders and the public, and participation tools such as TC-SIM could become increasingly important in this area.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X