Smart Transport

Decarbonisation: It's time to deliver

Alarm clocks on red background

Greenhouse gases emitted today will still be in the atmosphere in the year 2050, which is why reducing emissions now is so critical. By 2050, the cumulative impact of doing nothing for another five or 10 years makes the task of hitting net zero obligations so much harder. Waiting for a technological silver bullet to solve the climate crisis means that bullet needs to be a whole lot bigger and much faster.

University College London (UCL) emeritus professor of transport policy Phil Goodwin explains: “It’s the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, not the annual flow of new emissions that determines the average temperature. Their atmospheric lifetime is very long. Therefore, each tonne of carbon emitted this year does 29 years of damage by 2050. Making early reductions is much better than making late ones.”

And, says Goodwin, regardless of current projections, decarbonisation roadmaps and emissions trajectories, the future, inevitably, contains less traffic. In a widely acclaimed presentation to the Smart Transport Conference in London last November, Goodwin said the options were stark.

“There are many scenarios out there, but only two futures,” says Goodwin. “The first is runaway climate change as a consequence of doing nothing. This will result in reduced standards of living as more and more is spent on mitigating the increasingly serious impact of rising sea levels, flooding, population displacement and food supply issues.

Related content

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Smart Transport is the UK's most important brand to bring together senior public policy makers and influential private sector leaders to showcase real-time solutions aligned to government policy.
  • Find out more
  • Insight


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Lindsay Greatbatch for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.