Summary analysis​

In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, deep decarbonisation of the In order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, deep decarbonisation of the transport sector is necessary. This analysis looks at the commitments and goals countries are setting to decarbonise the sector within their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LTS) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is based on the documents included in this Tracker of Climate Strategies for Transport, as of 23 July 2023.

The most comprehensive analysis was released here in November 2022 as well as a summarised version of the SLOCAT Transport, Climate and Sustainability Global Status Report 3rd Edition in June 2023. The main focus of this analysis is the second generation of NDCs, consisting of updated first and second NDCs since 2018. Only the current and most recent submissions by a Part have been considered. We recommend reading about transport in the first generation of NDCs in SLOCAT Partnership’s NDCs Offering Opportunities for Ambitious Climate Action report of 2016, GIZ’s 2017 Transport in NDCs report and SLOCAT Partnership’s Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report 2018. In addition, GIZ’s Six Action Recommendations to enhance climate ambition in transport and the Ten Recommendations to raise ambition for transport in NDCs by the SLOCAT Partnership will help to better understand the context of transport action for climate. A detailed presentation and report about transport in the LTS and second-generation NDCs can be found here.

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This analysis is structured along the following questions:

Overview and scope

Second generation nationally determined contributions

As of 23 July 2023, a total of 16 second NDCs​​ and 132 updated NDCs​, representing 174 countries, have been submitted to the UNFCCC. The European Union submitted an updated NDC on behalf of the 27 member states of the EU. The countries that have handed in second generation NDCs account for nearly all economy-wide and transport CO2 emissions.

Some of the largest transport CO2 emitting countries that submitted new NDCs include Australia, Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico and the United States. 93% of European countries, 91% of Latin American and Caribbean countries and 85% of African and Asian countries have submitted second-generation NDCs to the UNFCCC to date. 64% of new NDCs are from middle-income countries and 20% from high-income countries. 20 of 23 low-income countries (82%) have submitted second-generation NDCs.

The NDCs are an opportunity to express the need for international support in regards to climate action. Low- and middle-income countries benefit from submitting updated NDCs because it could increase their access to international climate finance. Climate strategies of low- and middle-income countries are important as future transport demand growth is projected to occur mainly in these country income groups.

Long-term strategies

By 23 July 2023, 65 countries including the EU have submitted their long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (abbreviated here as LTS). This current analysis covers only 57 LTS submitted until February 2023. 19 individual EU member countries submitted additional national LTS, resulting in 32% of all submissions coming from Europe. The only submission by a low-income country comes from the Gambia.

Progress on targets, yet more ambition is needed to maximise sustainability impacts

42% of second-generation NDCs (62 NDCs in total) contain transport targets (either transport GHG mitigation targets and/or other quantitative targets for transport). However, only 23 second-generation NDCs have a transport greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation target, representing 16% of all second-generation NDCs (see Table 1). 13 of these targets are unconditional. 5 countries outlined conditional targets for transport GHG emission mitigation. The remaining 5 countries have a combination of unconditional and conditional targets. Nearly all of them have a target year of 2030.

Table 1. Transport greenhouse gas emission mitigation targets in country’s second-generation NDCs

CountryTargeted reductions in transport emissions (in carbon dioxide equivalents)Type of target
Andorra50% in road transport by 2030Unconditional
Bangladesh9.3% below business as usual (BAU) by 2030, to 32.9 million tonnes (unconditional) 27% below BAU by 2030, to 26.6 million tonnes (conditional)Unconditional, conditional
BelizeReduce conventional transport fuel 15% by 2030, to avoid 117 kilotonnes annually Achieve 15% efficiency per passenger- and tonne-kilometre through appropriate policies and investmentsUnconditional
Burkina FasoLimit the emission increase to 1,210 gigagrams (Gg) by 2025, 3,563 Gg by 2030 and 8,265 Gg by 2050 (unconditional) Further limit to 267 Gg in 2025, 867 Gg  in 2030 and 4,153 Gg in 2050 (conditional)Unconditional,  conditional
Dominica20% below 2014 levels by 2030; 100% below 2014 levels for shipping by 2030Unconditional
Egypt7% by 2030, reducing from 124,360 Gg under BAU to 8,960 GgUnconditional
El SalvadorLimit transport emissions to 334 kilotonnes below BAU by 2030Unconditional
Fiji40% below BAU for domestic maritime shipping by 2030Unconditional
Gambia22.2% below BAU by 2030Conditional
Georgia15% below BAU by 2030Unconditional
Grenada20% below 2010 levels by 2025, with further reductions by 2030 (continuation from first NDC)Conditional
Guinea2,300 kilotonnes per year below BAU by 2030 (unconditional)2,600 kilotonnes per year below unconditional scenario by 2030 (conditional) [EM1] [NM2] Unconditional, conditional
IsraelNo more than 3.3% above 2015 levels by 2030; 96% below 2015 levels by 2050Unconditional
Japan27% below 2013 levels by 2030, to reach 163 million tonnes or less (continuation from first NDC)Unconditional
Liberia15.1% below BAU by 2030Conditional
Mauritania5.21% by 2030, avoiding 92.7 Gg between 2021 and 2030Unconditional
Mauritius Limit to 129 kilotonnes per year by 2030  Unconditional
Seychelles30% below BAU for petrol vehicles by 2030Conditional
Samoa5.2 Gg (land transport) and 3 Gg (maritime transport) by 2030Unconditional
South Sudan44% below BAU by 2030Unconditional
Sri Lanka4% below BAU by 2030 (1% unconditional, 3% conditional)Unconditional, conditional
Uganda29% below BAU by 2030, reducing from 9.6 million tonnes under BAU to 6.8 million tonnesConditional
United Arab Emirates14% below BAU by 2030 (due mainly to enhanced vehicle standards in road transport)Unconditional

In addition, 120 non-GHG transport targets have been identified in second-generation NDCs (a NDC can include several non-GHG mitigation targets). The percentage of mode share targets decreased significantly between the first and second generation of NDCs. The most frequent non-GHG target was for zero emission vehicles, followed by vehicle efficiency targets.

Targets in Long-Term Strategies

By March 2023, 13 countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom) include transport GHG mitigation targets in their LTS (representing 22% of submitted LTS). In contrast to second-generation NDCs, LTS usually have a target year of 2050 (see Table 2).

Table 2. LTS transport targets

LTSTargeted reductions in transport CO2-equivalent emissions
Australia53-71% below 2005 levels by 2050
BelgiumZero emissions for passenger and freight transport by 2050
The GambiaFrom 1,026 Gg in 2020 to 315 Gg in 2050
Germany40-42% below 1990 levels by 2030 (reducing around 95-98 million tonnes)
LithuaniaAt least 14% below 2005 levels by 2030; 90% by 2050
New ZealandNet zero by 2050
NigeriaAround 4 million tonnes annually by 2030
Portugal43-46% below 2005 levels by 2030; 84-85% by 2040; 98% by 2050
Slovenia90-99% below 2005 levels by 2050
Spain30% below BAU by 2030
Sweden70% below 2010 levels by 2030 (excluding domestic aviation)
SwitzerlandZero for domestic land transport by 2050 (with few exceptions); net zero for international aviation by 2050
United KingdomNet zero for domestic aviation and shipping by 2050

Actions to mitigate transport emissions are insufficient to reach Paris Agreement goals

Climate strategies embrace a wider portfolio of transport mitigation actions but the mitigation actions continue to lean towards system efficiency improvements over transformation.

On average, the second generation of NDCs include more transport mitigation and adaptation actions than the first generation. There are nearly twice as many transport mitigation actions featured in each second-generation NDC compared to first-generation NDCs. On average, there are 2.7 transport mitigation measures per first-generation NDC, 5.2 transport mitigation measures per second-generation NDC and 20 transport mitigation measures per LTS. In second-generation NDCs, there has been a clear shift away from actions related to public transport and towards e-mobility measures and targets. An issue that continues from the first generation of NDCs is that many actions have vague descriptions.

Types of mitigation measures in new NDCs

Transport adaptation targets and actions are still limited

Similar to mitigation, there are more transport adaptation actions featured in second-generation NDCs compared to first-generation NDCs. On average, there are 0.4 transport adaptation measures per first-generation NDC and 1.1 transport adaptation measures per second-generation NDC.

Only six second-generation NDCs (Antigua and Barbuda, Burundi, Cambodia, Kenya, Liberia, Papua New Guinea) contain transport adaptation targets (see Table 3). They include targets to climate-proof infrastructure and develop public transport and active mobility systems in support of more robust and resilient transport systems.

Table 3. Transport adaptation targets

CountryTransport adaptation target
Antigua and BarbudaEnsure that all waterways are protected to reduce the risks of flooding and health impacts by 2030.
BurundiBuild 7.5 kilometres (unconditional) and 42.5 kilometres (conditional) of infrastructure exclusively for active mobility, and 3 modern ports with 6 ships to be acquired for Lake Tanganyika (conditional).
CambodiaDevelop a guidebook with design standards for climate-proof roads by 2022, establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for such roads by 2023 and ensure that road construction and repair follow these standards by 2030.
KenyaPromote the use of appropriate designs and building materials to enhance resilience of at least 4,500 kilometres of roads.
LiberiaImplement infrastructure that fosters the development of a bus public transport network for Monrovia and that ensures that low-income groups can reach jobs, education and healthcare services through improved access to economic and social opportunities. 
Papua New GuineaBuild and rehabilitate USD 1.2 billion (PGK 4.2 billion) worth of air, sea and land transport infrastructure and assets according to climate-resilient codes and standards.

The adaptation content is very general and the majority is limited to road infrastructure resilience. Actions on transport adaptation rarely specify the type of transport activity they aim to address (i.e., passenger or freight). 64 second-generation NDCs (43% of all NDCs) include transport adaptation measures, a significant improvement over the first-generation NDCs where transport adaptation was covered in just 22%.

Electrification takes pole position

New climate strategies feature a strong focus on electrification of road transport across vehicle types. Electric mobility (e-mobility) is the most common category of measures in second-generation NDCs. 81 second-generation NDCs (55%) include e-mobility-related actions, representing 19% of all actions. 45 non-GHG transport targets in second-generation NDCs relate to vehicle electrification.

Freight emissions growth continues unabated

Freight remains overlooked in NDC measures despite the sector’s large contributions to GHG emissions. Action on freight is urgent due to rapidly rising demand and emissions. Only a few second-generation NDCs embrace a shift of road freight to rail and improvements of logistics.

The large majority of actions in second-generation NDCs do not specify which transport activity type they will apply to. The most popular freight actions in second-generation NDCs include: shifting from road transport to rail or inland waterways (16 actions), freight efficiency improvements (10 actions) and vehicle-focused improvements (8 actions).

Attention to aviation and shipping emissions remains insufficient

There is a notable lack of coherence between domestic and international commitments to decarbonise aviation and shipping. Only a few countries have expressed their intention to increase their engagement in global agreements on aviation and shipping.​

Only 31 second-generation NDCs include plans to reduce emissions related to domestic aviation and/or maritime transport. A good example is Fiji, which has a target of reducing domestic maritime shipping CO2 emissions 40% below BAU by 2030. In addition, only a few countries have expressed their intention to increase their engagement in global agreements on aviation and shipping​: The LTS by the EU and Singapore have, for example, pointed out that efforts to minimise their aviation and shipping emissions will be addressed through their active participation in International Civil Aviation Organization and International Maritime Organization.

This analysis shows some examples of the kind of insights this database can provide. Please feel free to download the database and utilise it for your own interests and needs. If you have any questions, or would like to share how you used the data, please contact Nikola Medimorec at email hidden; JavaScript is required or Nadja Taeger at email hidden; JavaScript is required.