Photo by Kaique Rocha, Pexels
Photo by Kaique Rocha, Pexels

Setting a research agenda for a transition to low-carbon transportation

Understanding the knowledge gaps to achieve a low-carbon transportation sector is essential to guide future research agendas. EfD researchers aim to provide a systematic review to identify these knowledge gaps.

The potential impacts of climate change have been well documented in recent times with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions being cited as a major contributor to rising global temperatures. Transitioning to a low carbon economy has become increasingly important relying on social and technological changes to reduce carbon intensity economies. A significant amount of carbon emissions come from the transportation sector suggesting innovation in transport will play an important role in the low carbon transition process.

However, to understand the role transportation plays in the transition to a green economy, there is a need to have both a global and regional stock-taking of the current and potential research relating to the transportation sector and its low carbon transition. For example understanding what the future carbon footprint of transport will be when low carbon transition guidelines are put into place, investigating what is included in the transition process (timeframe, investment, equality, impact on livelihoods), and understanding how a shift in policy may impact financial investments within a country.

Providing a systematic review of the transportation sector

A project spearheaded by EfD researcher, Amin Karimu, EfD South Africa, in collaboration with Philip Adom, EfD Ghana, and Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah, EfD Global Hub, aims to provide a systematic review identifying the knowledge gaps and set a research agenda on low carbon transport infrastructure, digital technologies and their welfare implications including a gender perspective in the Global South. This 18-month long project is part of a larger project titled “Inclusive Low-Carbon Transitions for Sustainable Development in the Global South” and started in October 2021.

“Within developing countries, as seen globally, there is an increasing need for personal transportation. How do you manage the carbon footprint of this sector while still aligning with low carbon transition goals? What is the future of transportation in the global south? What is the gender implication of a low carbon transportation system? This project aims to answer these questions and help guide future research agendas to ensure a low carbon economy that is also inclusive,” explains Amin Karimu.

The project further aims to incorporate questions around public-private partnerships in relation to low-carbon infrastructure provision, the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts of a transition to low carbon transportation, and the female involvement in green infrastructure projects.

Collaboration with larger policy review

This systematic review falls within a larger collaborative regional policy review (RPR) for Africa with case studies of five East African countries (Kanya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda) and three other countries, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

“The inclusion of Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa within the regional review for Africa ensures that we include case studies in the west and south of the continent, these along with the five countries in East Africa ensures we can provide a holistic view of the potential gaps in research across the continent,” states Amin Karimu.

Follow the project page for updates as the project develops


By: Dr. Michelle Blanckenberg

News | 25 March 2022