Editor's introduction: Transport, energy and climate change

Peake, Stephen (1997). Editor's introduction: Transport, energy and climate change. Energy Policy, 25(14-15) iii-iv.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-4215(97)87264-3


Transportation is an important part of the energy policy scene. The statistics speak for themselves. OECD-wide, transportation accounts for roughly 20% of total final energy demand and 28% of carbon dioxide emissions. Today's choice of fuel for mobility is overwhelmingly petroleum (97%) which accounts for over half (54%) of OECD total final oil demand. The outlook at the global level is arresting. How much more oil will the world consume annually by say, 2020 as a result of transport? The answer is of course highly uncertain, but is of the order, for example, of several times the size of today's North American oil market. That this, then, is the first special issue of Energy Policy (in 25 years) on transport carries a message in itself. Energy policy has long had trouble 'connecting' with transport. The disconnection manifests itself in various ways from the functioning of our local, national and international political institutions, to the clinical divisions within policy analysis and between analysts themselves. Energy modellers typically model transport in a top down fashion, paying little attention to the detailed findings of the behavioural aspects of transportation, reported for example in Energy Policy's sister journal, Transport Policy. How many energy specialists are even remotely familiar with the idea of trip generation models or understand the basics of the behavioural approach to transport? Not many. This special issue is a contemporary slice of evolving thought on the transportation dimension of energy issues and vice versa.

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