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Title: Role of the Freight Sector in Future Climate Change Mitigation Scenarios

The freight sector's role is examined using the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) for a range of climate change mitigation scenarios and future freight demand assumptions. Energy usage and CO 2 emissions from freight have historically grown with a correlation to GDP, and there is limited evidence of near-term global decoupling of freight demand from GDP. Over the 21 st century, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freight are projected to grow faster than passenger transportation or other major end-use sectors, with the magnitude of growth dependent on the assumed extent of long-term decoupling. In climate change mitigation scenarios that apply a price to GHG emissions, mitigation of freight emissions (including the effects of demand elasticity, mode and technology shifting, and fuel substitution) is more limited than for other demand sectors. In such scenarios, shifting to less-emitting transportation modes and technologies is projected to play a relatively small role in reducing freight emissions in GCAM. Finally, by contrast, changes in the supply chain of liquid fuels that reduce the fuel carbon intensity, especially deriving from large-scale use of biofuels coupled to carbon capture and storage technologies, are responsible for the majority of freight emissions mitigation, followed by price-induced reduction in freightmore » demand services.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.; National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  3. ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Annandale, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; AC05-76RL01830
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; transportation; vehicle analysis; vehicle modeling; vehicle emissions; GCAM; systems analysis and integration
OSTI Identifier: