Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Research article
 | Highlight paper
10 Jun 2014
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 10 Jun 2014

Global emission projections for the transportation sector using dynamic technology modeling

F. Yan, E. Winijkul, D. G. Streets, Z. Lu, T. C. Bond, and Y. Zhang

Abstract. In this study, global emissions of gases and particles from the transportation sector are projected from the year 2010 to 2050. The Speciated Pollutant Emission Wizard (SPEW)-Trend model, a dynamic model that links the emitter population to its emission characteristics, is used to project emissions from on-road vehicles and non-road engines. Unlike previous models of global emission estimates, SPEW-Trend incorporates considerable detail on the technology stock and builds explicit relationships between socioeconomic drivers and technological changes, such that the vehicle fleet and the vehicle technology shares change dynamically in response to economic development. Emissions from shipping, aviation, and rail are estimated based on other studies so that the final results encompass the entire transportation sector. The emission projections are driven by four commonly-used IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scenarios (A1B, A2, B1, and B2). With global fossil-fuel use (oil and coal) in the transportation sector in the range of 128–171 EJ across the four scenarios, global emissions are projected to be 101–138 Tg of carbon monoxide (CO), 44–54 Tg of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 14–18 Tg of non-methane total hydrocarbons (THC), and 3.6–4.4 Tg of particulate matter (PM) in the year 2030. At the global level, a common feature of the emission scenarios is a projected decline in emissions during the first one or two decades (2010–2030), because the effects of stringent emission standards offset the growth in fuel use. Emissions increase slightly in some scenarios after 2030, because of the fast growth of on-road vehicles with lax or no emission standards in Africa and increasing emissions from non-road gasoline engines and shipping. On-road vehicles and non-road engines contribute the most to global CO and THC emissions, while on-road vehicles and shipping contribute the most to NOx and PM emissions. At the regional level, Latin America and East Asia are the two largest contributors to global CO and THC emissions in the year 2010; this dominance shifts to Africa and South Asia in the future. By the year 2050, for CO and THC emissions, non-road engines contribute the greatest fraction in Asia and the former USSR, while on-road vehicles make the largest contribution in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East; for NOx and PM emissions, shipping controls the trend in most regions. These forecasts include a formal treatment of the factors that drive technology choices in the global vehicle sector and therefore represent a robust and plausible projection of what future emissions may be. These results have important implications for emissions of gases and aerosols that influence air quality, human health, and climate change.

Final-revised paper