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Backcasting sustainable freight transport systems for Europe in 2050

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  • Mattila, Tuomas
  • Antikainen, Riina

Abstract

European freight transport emissions and fuel consumption are projected to increase. This study focuses on long distance freight transport (LDFT) and explores possible sustainable futures through quantitative modeling. The evaluation was part of European foresight process between researchers, policy makers and freight companies (FREIGHTVISION). Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy demand of road, rail and inland waterways were estimated for an EU-27 in 2005. Development was extrapolated to 2050 based on technology and freight performance forecasts. Stakeholders found the forecasted GHG emissions and fossil fuel share unsustainable, so alternative futures were developed with backcasting. The developed emission model was run with random parameter combinations to screen a set of sustainable futures, with an 80% reduction of GHG emissions and fossil fuel share. Freight transport performance was not controlled in the backcasts, but several sustainable futures were found if significant changes in transport efficiency and energy mix are implemented. In spite of agreeing on the importance of reducing emissions, stakeholders had difficulties in choosing a preferred technological future. Simple models were found to be an effective tool for communicating the influence of various measures. Further research is recommended to screen preferable technological roadmaps from the broad range of available futures.

Suggested Citation

  • Mattila, Tuomas & Antikainen, Riina, 2011. "Backcasting sustainable freight transport systems for Europe in 2050," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1241-1248, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:1241-1248
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hurmekoski, Elias & Hetemäki, Lauri, 2013. "Studying the future of the forest sector: Review and implications for long-term outlook studies," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 17-29.
    2. repec:eee:trapol:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:36-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mustapa, Siti Indati & Bekhet, Hussain Ali, 2016. "Analysis of CO2 emissions reduction in the Malaysian transportation sector: An optimisation approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 171-183.
    4. Bueno, Gorka, 2012. "Analysis of scenarios for the reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions in transport in the Basque Country," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 1988-1998.
    5. repec:eee:trapol:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:19-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:transa:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:26-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3025-:d:165768 is not listed on IDEAS

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