Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the aim of the Paris Agreement requires worldwide action from all sectors of society. As a major emitter of energy-related CO2, the transport sector will require a transformation over the course of this century.
Before, during and after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, IPIECA issued a series of publications, held dedicated workshops and hosted a number of topic-specific side events at UNFCCC COPs (Conference of Parties) to convene experts from industry, academia, think tanks and other stakeholders to produce a perspective on the potential pathways toward a low-emission future and the role of the oil and gas sector as an enabler. Building on this approach, IPIECA worked with experts within the sector and drawing upon data and literature from the IEA and other bodies to produce in-depth low-emission pathways for transport.
IPIECA identified a wide range of technologies that will be necessary for transport sub-sectors (light-duty and heavy-duty road vehicles, aviation and maritime) to evolve to a low-emissions future. Continuing improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engines coupled with hybridization and optimized vehicle/vessel designs will provide significant GHG emission reductions. Electric vehicles are key for the light-duty sector, although the full life cycle of battery manufacture, utilization and disposal as well the sustainability of electricity generation source is particularly important if valid comparisons are to be made with internal combustion engines. More advanced biofuels, synthetic fuels, ‘e-fuels’ and hydrogen could also be used as a power source to improve emissions. And, there is a role for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the production of hydrogen. Transport modes such as heavy-duty vehicles, aviation and commercial shipping need a significantly high energy density. Here electrification will present more of a challenge and there is the opportunity for use of sustainably sourced biomass as an alternative.
This paper will lay out the IPIECA view on how the oil and gas industry can be part of the solution in meeting both the challenges of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It examines in detail potential pathways for the transformation of the transport sector and provides a perspective on the technologies and other key enablers of a low-emissions transport future.