The Future of European long distance transport

Teknologi-Radet, 2008.

This information material is produced to support the Interview Meetings on The Future of European long distance Transport. These meetings are part of a project that The Danish Board of Technology is conduction on behalf of the STOA-Panel at the European Parliament. (STOA: Science and Technology Options Assessment). The objective of the STOA project is to contribute to policy clarification for sustainable, efficient and less oil dependent long distance transport in Europe, including both passenger and freight transport.

The information material includes the following:
· Two articles written by a science journalist given an overview of some of the challenges from long distance transport regarding oil dependency, CO2 emissions and infrastructure expansions to enable mobility
· The stories of John and Maria, illustrating different views on the possible solutions to long distance transport and climate change
· A list of technologies and policy measures mentioned in the stories of John and Maria.

Transforming Transport

Chapter 21 on Garanaut Climate Change Review, 2008

Transport systems in Australia will change dramatically this century, independently of climate change mitigation. High oil prices and population growth will change technologies, urban forms and roles of different modes of transport.An emissions trading scheme will guide this transformation to loweremissions transport options.Higher oil prices and a rising emissions price will change vehicle technologies and fuels. The prospects for low-emissions vehicles are promising. It is likely that zero-emissions road vehicles will become economically attractive and be the most important source of decarbonisation from the transport sector.Governments have a major role to play in lowering the economic costs of adjustment to higher oil prices, an emissions price and population growth, through planning for more compact urban forms and rail and public transport. Mode shift may account for a quarter of emissions reductions in urban passenger transport, lowering the cost of transition and delivering multiple benefits to the community.

2020 Global Energy Scenarios

Millennium Project
Global Futures Studies & Research, 2008

The world is increasingly aware that fundamental changes will be necessary to meet the growing demand for energy. There are many possible scenarios about what may emerge in the foreseeable future. Four such scenarios were constructed by the Millennium Project and are presented here.

Business as usual – The sceptic

(Moderate growth in technological breakthroughs, in environmental movement impacts, in economic growth and moderate changes in geopolitics and war/peace/ terrorism)

This scenario assumes that the global dynamics of change continue without great surprises or much change in energy sources and consumption patterns other than those that might be expected as a result of the change dynamics and trends already in place. So, yes, it’s easy to be a sceptic. We’ve heard it all before. What people miss most about the old days is vacations in distant places, freedom to drive what they wanted and where they wanted, having a government they could believe in, that tells the truth—if indeed anyone knows what truth is any more—and stability. Today there is too much pessimistic thinking about energy. Reserves have grown in the past when depletion was forecast, and now many people in the industry say it will happen again. As for developing new energy systems, with effort and fortitude the world powers can solve the problem; they can do anything they want to do. But the World Soccer Games are on TV now, so let’s worry about all this tomorrow.

Environmental Backlash

(Moderate growth in technological breakthroughs High environmental movement impacts, in economic growth and moderate changes in geopolitics and war/peace/terrorism)

This scenario assumes that the international environmental movement becomes much more organized; some groups lobby for legal actions and new regulations and sue for action in the courts, while others become violent and attack fossil energy industries. Technological breakthroughs, regulatory changes, and increased public awareness of the energy-environment linkages have changed the mix of energy usage. For example, hybrid cars now outsell gasoline-only cars, and biofuel and electric cars are catching up fast. The big promise of nanotechnology to decrease manufacturing unit costs, requiring a smaller volume of materials and energy usage and hence lowering the environmental impact and increasing productivity, is just now on the horizon. In the meantime, over one-third of our transportation needs are still met by petroleum. The oil producers also continue to supply the needs of aviation, plastic, and pharmaceutical industries for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the dynamics set in motion over the past will continue climate change for some years to come. Although great gains have been made in both energy efficiency and the production of energy via non-greenhouse-producing systems, humans still emit about 9 billion tons of carbon per year. Granted, this is less than the forecast back in 2005, but it is still too much, since the absorption capacity of carbon by oceans and forests is only about 3 billion tons per year. If we are to avoid the point of inflection for a serious runaway greenhouse effect, we still have to continue improving. We must hope that the new polices, technologies, and cultural patterns will make the impacts less traumatic that they might have been. 

High-tech economy – Technology pushes off the limits

(High growth in technological breakthroughs, low environmental movement impacts, high economic growth and few changes in geopolitics and war/peace/terrorism)

This scenario assumes that technological innovations accelerate beyond current expectations and have impacts in the energy supply mix and consumption patterns of a magnitude similar to the Internet’s impact in the 1990s. 

Political Turmoil

(Moderate growth in technological breakthroughs, low environmental movement impacts, moderate/low economic growth and major changes in geopolitics and war/peace/terrorism)

This scenario assumes increasing conflicts and wars, with several countries collapsing into failed states, leading to increasing migrations and political instabilities around the world.

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A multi-layer Scenario Analysis for Sustainable International Transport

B.Ubbels, C.Rodenburg, R.Nijkamp, Tinbergen Insitute, 2000

It is clear that the future of the transport sector is fraught with uncertainties, as the system can be influenced by many factors that can develop in various ways. The aim of this paper is to gain insight into the future development of the transportation sector. It presents the development of the transport sector based on four globalisation scenarios. On three different scale levels (global, European and Dutch) four future images of the transportation market are constructed. The expected implications of these scenarios are mapped out in a clear description of the various relevant aspects, such as modal split and spatial organisation. In addition, this paper also provides empirical insight into expected transport flows of passenger (passenger kilometres) and freight transport (ton-kilometres) in 2020, based on data from 1995. It appears that globalisation leads in all scenarios and on each scale level to a considerable growth of transported volumes.

An Economic Projection to 2050: The OECD "ENVLinkages" Model Baseline

By Jean Chateau, Cuauhtemoc Rebolledo and Rob Dellink of the OECD Environment Directorate, 2011.

This report presents global socioeconomic baseline projections until 2050. It highlights how different drivers affect growth in GDP, and how this in turn affects energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The Baseline scenario documented here serves as a background document for the preparation of the Socioeconomic Developments chapter of the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050. The baseline has been constructed using the ENV-Linkages model, which is described in detail in a separate paper of the OECD Environment Working Paper series.

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Analysis of Transport policy scenarios for EU-countries with PRIMES-transport

J.Knockaert, S.Proost, D.Van Regemorter, Katholike Unversiteit Leuven, 2004

The partial equilibrium model PRIMES-transport has been used for the evaluation of different transport policy measures which are on the table at EU or national level. The model covers the transport activity by transport mode and their associated energy consumption and air pollution in the EU, country by country. A full range of alternative technologies for each mode are considered and the choice of technologies is based on the generalised cost concept, inclusive the time cost and other not direct cost element. In a first part, the design of the model and the reference scenario specification are described. Then in a second part the different transport policy measures are evaluated. The policy measures are the introduction of more fuel efficient road vehicles (furthering the ACEA agreement), the promotion of biofuels (EU proposal), the introduction of low-sulphur heavy fuel in navigation and finally the German LKW-Maut road-toll. Their impact are evaluated in terms of transport activity (overall and per mode), energy consumption, emissions and associated damage and technological choice.

ASSESS. Final Repport. Annex 17. Indicators.

EC DG TREN, 2005

This is ANNEX V of the final report for ‘Assessment of the contribution of the TEN and other transport policy measures to the mid-term implementation of the White Paper on the European Transport Policy for 2010’.

ASSESS. Final Repport. Annex V. Modelling Scenarios and Assumptions

EC DG TREN, 2005

This is ANNEX V of the final report for ‘Assessment of the contribution of the TEN and other transport policy measures to the mid-term implementation of the White Paper on the European Transport Policy for 2010’.

Backcasting approach for sustainable mobility

Edited by Apollonia Miola, 2008

Several approaches for strategy analysis and future analysis methods exist: scenario technique, forecasting, backcasting, Delphi studies. In this context, forecasting methods are dominant, but the complementary development of backcasting planning methodology is particularly useful when problems at hand are complex and when present time is part of the problem such as sustainability issues. This report summarises the results of an exploratory research on “Backcasting approach for sustainability planning in the transport sector”. Aim of this research is the identification of main elements of a methodology to develop backcasting scenarios for policy of sustainable mobility. The report consists of two sections. The first part analyses the most common future methods. It examines the applications of backcasting approach in a sustainability context and identifies main steps of a backcasting exercise to achieve a sustainable transport system. In the second section, a backcasting exercise to define an EU sustainable transport system is developed to give a practical example of this method and to define some policy packages to achieve an EU sustainable mobility.

Banking in 2050: How big will the emerging markets get?

PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2007

This report examines the possible changes in the scale of the banking sector between now and 2050, highlights the pace of change, and provides some measure of the size of the opportunities and challenges for banks. For example, the new projections suggest that: total domestic credit in China could overtake the UK and Germany by 2010, Japan by 2025, and the US before 2050; India could rise from today’s relatively low levels to emerge as the third largest domestic banking market in the world by 2040—and could ultimately grow faster than China; and Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey are also likely to see rapid expansion in their banking sectors, all having the potential to match major European economies such as France and Italy before 2050.

Belgian Climate Transport

Econotec - Vito

This is the reason why the Federal Ministry for the Environment has asked VITO and ECONOTEC to undertake a study aimed at establishing a set of key assumptions specific for Belgium. These key assumptions would be the basis for the calculation of emission projections and assessment of emission reductions for the mid- and long-term (2020 and 2050) to be performed in the framework of a subsequent study. They should reflect the international framework and the specificity of the country, its regions and its specific sectors.

Biodiversity scenarios: Projections of 21st century change in biodiversity

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2010

This synthesis focuses on estimates of biodiversity change as projected for the 21st century by models orextrapolations based on experiments and observed trends. The term “biodiversity” is used in a broadsense as it is defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the abundance and distributionsof and interactions between genotypes, species, communities, ecosystems and biomes. This synthesispays particular attention to the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem services and tocritical “tipping points” that could lead to large, rapid and potentially irreversible changes. Comparisonsbetween models are used to estimate the range of projections and to identify sources of uncertainty.Experiments and observed trends are used to check the plausibility of these projections. In additionwe have identified possible actions at the local, national and international levels that can be taken toconserve biodiversity. We have called on a wide range of scientists to participate in this synthesis, withthe objective to provide decision makers with messages that reflect the consensus of the scientific communityand that will aid in the development of policy and management strategies that are ambitious,forward looking and proactive.

Climate change impacts in Europe

European Commission, 2009

The April 2009 EC White Paper on adaptation notes the need to better know the possible consequences of climate change in Europe. The main objective of the PESETA (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on boTtom-up Analysis) project is to contribute to a better understanding of the possible physical and economic impacts induced by climate change in Europe over the 21st century in the following aspects: agriculture, river basin floods, coastal systems, tourism, and human health.

This research project has followed an innovative, integrated approach combining high resolution climate and sectoral impact models with comprehensive economic models, able to provide first estimates of the impacts for alternative climate futures. This approach has been implemented for the first time in Europe. The project has implied truly multidisciplinary work (including e.g. climate modelling, agronomic and civil engineering, health and economics), leading to conclusions that could not have been derived from the scientific disciplines in isolation.

Climate change impacts in Europe. Final report of the PESETA research project

European Commission
Joint Research Centre
Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 2009

The PESETA project makes the first regionally-focused multi-sectoral integrated assessment of the impacts of climate change in the European economy. The project also suggests an innovative modelling framework able to provide useful insights for adaptation policies on a pan-European scale, with the geographical resolution relevant to national stakeholders. Five impact categories have been addressed: agriculture, river floods, coastal systems, tourism, and human health. These aspects are highly sensitive to changes in mean climate and climate extremes. The approach enables a comparison between the impact categories and therefore provides a notion of the relative severity of the damage inflicted. For the climate scenarios of the study, two time frames have been considered: the 2020s and the 2080s. The study evaluates the economic effects of future climate change on the current economy. Other key impacts, such as effects on forestry, impacts in ecosystems and biodiversity and catastrophic events, have not yet been analysed. Therefore, the PESETA project underestimates the impacts of climate change in Europe to a large extent.

Cohesion Policy Contributing to Territorial Cohesion – Future Scenarios

Andreas Faludi and Jean Peyrony, European Journal of Spatial Development, September 2011

The Barca Report advocates for developmental policies to be ‘place-based’: integrated as far as they affect ‘places’. The debate on territorial cohesion is equally concerned with integrating relevant policies and actions. This requires well-established democratic institutions and adequate responses to the demands of technical systems and of markets. Following Lisbeth Hooghe and Gary Marks, the respective arrangements are described as Governance Type I and Type II. All levels of government, including that of the EU, partake in both types, but relations between them are problematic, particularly in the context of Europe 2020: Will this EU strategy be mainly a matter for DirectorateGenerals and their various clients pursuing their policies (Governance Type II), or will Cohesion policy, with its more integrated and decentralised approach, involving many levels of government and stakeholders (Governance Type I) form platforms for integrating them? This paper presents four scenarios; each based on a combination of strong/weak Governance Type I and Type II, which are labelled as the ‘Anglo-Saxon’,‘Saint-Simonian’, ‘Rhineland’ and the ‘European’ Scenarios. The authors prefer the latter, but the best one can hope for in the short term is for this option not to fall by the wayside.

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Deciding the Future: Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050

World Energy Council, 2007

This report points the way for policymakers to make important decisions now which can deliver desirable progress on the 3 A’s in the period from 2030-2050. This report shows that irrespective of whether we are in the public or private sector, there are issues within our own range of decision capability that we can act on immediately.

Energy to 2050. Scenarios for a sustainable future

OECD and International Energy Agency, 2003

The scenarios are differentiated on the bases of two variables: pace of technological change and attitudes towards the global environment. With each variable characterised by a "high" and "low" level, four different scenarios are derived. Assuming the reference case is technology and environmental awareness that proceed along current paths, three additional cases can be analysed: the high environment, low technology case (referred to as "Clean but not sparkling"), the high technology but low environmental case (called "Dynamic but careless"), and the high technology and high environment case, referred to as "Bright skies".

  • Clean, but not Sparkling. This scenario is characterised by a strong concern for the global environment by both the public and policymakers but a relatively slow rate of technological change. Contrary to a common wisdom for which strong pro–environment policies would lead to a rapid development of environmental friendly technologies, a number of other factors could put such an outcome at risk. In this scenario a combination of pessimistic perceptions about technology and overzealous policy intervention do not allow for the full potential of technological development to be released. Furthermore, insufficient investment in R&D or failure of these research efforts to produce results leads to limited technological progress. As in this scenario technologies fail to deliver, environmental goals are largely met through induced changes in behaviour, and likely only at rather high costs.
  • Dynamic but Careless. This scenario is characterised by very dynamic technological change, low priority for climate change mitigation and a generalised belief that sustained growth and rapid progress in technologies will take care of all problems without need for much policy intervention. As a corollary, this scenario has more rapid economic growth than the first one, including more open but less regulated markets. Unhindered economic growth is the main priority, shared by developed and developing countries alike. However, not all countries are able to achieve fast growth rates and some lag behind. Global threats such as climate change take a back seat in the concerns of both citizens and politicians. Although energy represents a relatively small share of production inputs or household spending, low energy prices and security of supply are considered an important condition for economic growth. At the beginning, progress is faster in fossil fuel based technologies, helping to maintain low prices. In both developed and developing countries local environmental problems are not ignored but are dealt with at the local level and consistently with the economic resources of the affected communities or individually through pollution impact averting behaviour. As a consequence of these initial conditions, fossil fuel demand grows rapidly, followed by an increase in GHG emissions. These two factors increase the likelihood of energy security of supply crises and worsening environmental conditions. To deal with security of supply, and in the continuous quest for low energy costs the system accelerates the development of new technologies. While the first phase of this scenario is therefore heavily oriented towards fossil fuel-based technologies, in the second part of the scenario horizon, non-fossil technologies emerge too.
  • Bright Skies. This scenario is characterised by both rapid technological change and strong concern for the global environment by both the public and policymakers. Other features of this scenario include a (global) GDP growth rate somewhere in between the first two cases but closer to the second, robust trade and market liberalisation trends, a narrowing down of income differences across regions and countries. As a result, overall, energy prices will be somewhat higher than in the second scenario but lower than in the first. In this scenario, governments of developed countries agree to deal with the threat of climate change in a co-ordinated fashion and to take action to slow down and reverse current trends in GHG emissions. In due time they are joined in this process by developing countries, who agree to take increasingly stringent commitments for GHG emission control and reduction. Domestically, developed country governments set out to design and implement policies that will, on the one hand, encourage a reduction of energy-related GHG emissions and, on the other, channel both government and private resources towards development of new technologies for climate change mitigation. These efforts produce a host of positive technological outcomes, which allow the attainment of environmental goals, and also enhance energy security while keeping prices relatively low.

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Energy to 2050. Scenarios for a sustainable future

By International Energy Agency, 2009

WEO-2009 sets out, for key countries and regions (including the United States, Japan, the European Union, Russia, China and India), the energy transformation that each might undertake, sector by sector, if the world were to adopt a 450 ppm trajectory. It also describes the current trends in energy use and emissions in a fully updated Reference Scenario, detailing the implications of current policies and taking into account the global financial and economic crisis.

Reference Scenario. This scenario shows how global energy markets would evolve if governments make no change to their exisiting policies. It takes account of government policies and measures enacted or adoptedby mid-2009. Under this scenario, in the absence of new initiatives to tackle climate change, rising global fossil fuel use increases energy-related CO2 emissions from 29 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2007 to over 40 Gt in 2030 and contributes to the deterioration of ambient air quality with serious public health and environmental effects. Such a scenario would result, according to IEA analysis, in a concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of around 1 000 ppm in the long term.

450 Scenario. This scenario analyses measures in the energy sector which might be taken in order to fulfil a coordinated global commitment with the ultimate aim of stabilising the concentration of greenhouse gas-emissions in the atmosphere at 450 ppm CO2 equivalent. This level of concentration is expected to give rise to a global temperature increase of 2C. The 450 scenario also reflects a plausible set of commitments and policies which could emerge from the climate-change negotiations in the period through to 2020. The scenario entails USD 10.5 trillion more investment in energy infrastructure and energy-related capital stock globally than in the reference scenario. (USD 4.7 trillion in transport; USD 2.5 trillion in buildings; USD 1.7 trillion in power plants; USD 1.1 trillion in industry; USD 0.4 trillion in biofuel production.) These costs are at least partly offset by economic, health and energy-security benefits.

Under the 450 scenario. Global energy-related CO2 emissions peak at 30.9 Gt just before 2020 and decline thereafter to 26.4 Gt in 2030. Primary energy demand grows by 20 % between 2007 and 2030, which corresponds to an annual growth rate of 0.8 %. The average emissions intensity of new cars is reduced by more than half, and their oil needs fall. The share of non-fossil fuels in the overall primary energy mix increases from 19 % in 2007 to 32 % in 2030, when CO2 emissions per unit of GDP are less than half their 2007 level. Fossil fuels nonetheless remain the dominant energy sources in 2030. End-use efficiency accounts for more than half the total saving in energy emissions and power-generation accounts for more than two-thirds of the savings. By 2030, transport demand for oil is cut by 12 million barrels per day, which equals more than 70 % of oil savings.

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ESPON 3.2 Spatial Scenarios in relation to the ESDP and EU Cohesion Policy

Espon Project 3.2

The main objective of the project is to develop spatial scenarios which should on the one hand be prospective, capable of prognostics with reference to a laissez-faire scenario on themes of the ESPON and policy orientations of the ESDP. On the other hand the scenarios should as well be proactive testing alternative objectives and provide insight for recommendations on policy adjustments/changes in EU policies that would favour a balanced and polycentric territory and territorial cohesion within an enlarged European Union. The time horizon for the spatial scenarios is set to 2015 (mid term) and 2030 (long term).

ESPON DEMIFER. Demographic and Migratory Flows Affecting European Regions and Cities

ESPON, 2010

The aim of the project is to assess future changes in population growth, the size of the labour force and the ageing of the population, and to explore different policy options aiming at regional competitiveness and territorial cohesion.

DEMIFER scenarios link policy bundles to demographic effects using two dimensions: Distribution-Fairness and Economy – Environment. At one end of the Economy-Environment dimension we envisage a situation where sustainable growth has been achieved through technical and social innovation. At the other end of dimension we envisage a situation where the environmental challenges have not been met and growth as traditionally measured has fallen. The Distribution-Fairness dimension varies from a bundle of policies designed to achieve social solidarity on the one end, to a set of polices designed to improve the operation of markets and the achievement of greater competitiveness in a global market on the other end.Combining the two dimensions produces four policy scenarios, which we call:

  • Growing Social Europe (GSE)
  • Expanding Market Europe (EME)
  • Limited Social Europe (LSE)
  • Challenged Market Europe (CME)

Each of these scenarios is associated with a set of policies that we may expect to impact, to a greater or lesser degree, future patterns of mortality, fertility and migration.

As the growth of the labour force does not just depend on the size of the working age population but also on the level of labour force participation rates, alternative assumptions on future changes in labour force participation rates are included in the specification of the scenarios.Effects of policies on the labour force:

  • If labour force participation rates stay the same, the total size of the labour force will decline by 17% until 2050 and it will grow in only 25% of the regions. The four policy scenarios on labour force participation provide an array of possible territorial trends in Europe and distinguish some of the effects of policies.
  • Only under favourable economic conditions (high extra-European migration and increased activity rates - as in the EME and GSE scenarios) will the total size of the labour force increase by 2050. However 35 and 40 % of the regions in the EME and GSE scenarios respectively will still face a decline in the size of the labour force by 10% or more by 2050.
  • If economic conditions are poor (activity rates decline or stay the same and immigration is low - as in the LSE and CME scenarios), regions will experience a decline in the labour force. Further, 55-70% of the regions will experience a decline of the labour force by 10% or more and even decrease by 30% or more in most of the eastern and southern European regions.
  • As shown in the table below, over 50% of all NUTS2 regions in Europe will experience both an increase in population and labour force in the GSE and EME scenarios, while only 20-30% of the regions in the LSE and CME scenarios see an increase in both of these.

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