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A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities

Schafer, AW; Yeh, S; (2020) A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities. Nature Sustainability 10.1038/s41893-020-0514-9. (In press).

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Abstract

Transportation is a major energy consumer and emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Exploring the opportunities for energy savings and GHG emissions reductions requires understanding transportation energy or GHG intensity, which is defined as energy use or GHG emissions per unit activity, here passenger-kilometres travelled. This aggregate indicator quantifies the amount of energy required or GHGs emitted to provide a generic transportation service. We show that the range of observed energy and GHG intensities of major transportation modes is remarkably similar and that occupancy explains about 70–90% of the variation around the mean; only the remaining 10–30% is explained by differences in trip distances and other factors such as technology and operating conditions. Whereas average occupancy levels differ vastly, they translate into roughly similar levels of energy and GHG intensity for nearly all major transportation modes.

Type: Article
Title: A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities
DOI: 10.1038/s41893-020-0514-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0514-9
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Energy and society, Energy infrastructure, Environmental impact, Sustainability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096557
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