Transport and Climate Change

Public Transport fit for the Climate Emergency

Wales Transport Policy fit for the Climate Emergency cover imageThis report for the TUC lays out an investment plan to improve public transport on the scale needed for people to switch from using cars in line with emissions targets for the Climate Emergency.

It shows capital expenditure needs to step up by around £10bn per year, and operating expenditure needs to step up by  around £19bn per year. The report calculates this increased expenditure would generate an increase in GDP of around £50bn per year, far outweighing the costs. It estimates that approaching one million extra jobs would be directly generated in the transport and construction industries, with twice that number generated indirectly.

Public Transport fit for the Climate Emergency


Carbon, mode shift and demand reduction analysis for Wales Transport Strategy

The Welsh Government commissioned Transport for Quality of Life and Arup to assess the level of mode shift targets required in the Wales Transport Strategy, Llwybr Newydd (2021) in order to meet climate change commitments. The reports assessed the carbon gap that will need to be filled by other measures beyond electrification of car travel, considered the potential carbon reductions achievable from active travel and public transport, and assessed how investment in active travel and public transport will need to be complemented by demand management measures such as road user charging. Further papers presented possible mode share targets and considered ways in which demand management measures can be designed as 'benefits-and-charges packages' in order to win public support and enable political leaders to advocate them. 

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Reducing the carbon gap             Active travel CO2 savings        Public transport CO2 savings

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Mode share targets for Wales     Road user benefits-and-charges packages


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Deep change transport policies to meet 1.5 oC target

Friends of the Earth asked Transport for Quality of Life to produce a series of papers laying out the changes needed in transport policy for the UK to deliver its fair share of carbon emissions reduction. Transport is now the UK's biggest contributor to climate change that threatens deeply problematic environmental, social and economic consequences, and the need for a change in the trajectory of transport policymaking is urgent. The tacit official assumption that incremental modified-business-as-normal solutions are enough is untenable.


These briefings take a different approach, unflinchingly assessing the challenge head-on and presenting ideas for bold and imaginative alternatives, even where these depart from the comfort zone of government officials and ministers and are not yet part of the mainstream discourse.

Photo credit Marcus Spiske on Unsplash

Briefing 1: More than electric cars - Why we need to reduce traffic to reach carbon targets

Briefing 2:  Transforming public transport - Regulation, spending and free buses for the under 30s

Briefing 3: Planning for less car use

Briefing 4: Segregated cycleways and e-bikes - The future of urban travel

Briefing 5: Getting the Department for Transport on the right track

Briefing 6: An Eco Levy for driving - Cut carbon, clean up toxic air, and make our towns and cities liveable

Briefing 7: Transforming transport funding to meet our climate targets

Briefing 8: A radical transport response to the Climate Emergency

Briefing 9: A net zero carbon budget for the whole transport sector


Activists' Briefing: Making transport fit for the Climate Emergency

FoE Activists' Briefing cover imageThis  briefing lays out a complete package for transport policy that is entirely feasible, based on existing world best practice, yet also on a scale and depth that matches up to the severity and urgency of the Climate Emergency.

We hope this will empower all those who care about the Climate Emergency and are in a position to take action in their locality – whether as Friends of the Earth activists, local councillors, or local government officers.

Activists' Briefing: Making transport fit for the Climate Emergency



A Wales Transport Policy fit for the Climate Emergency

Wales Transport Policy fit for the Climate Emergency cover imageThis additional briefing for Friends of the Earth Cymru argues that Welsh policymakers need to think afresh about transport policies for the climate emergency.

It seeks to address the particular opportunities and challenges for Wales, in anticipation of the planned introduction of a new Wales Transport Strategy during 2020.

Technological changes are necessary but not enough to achieve the large, rapid reduction in carbon emissions we need. 


A Wales Transport Policy fit for the Climate Emergency