Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Transportation Sector

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Transportation Sector

global greenhouse gas emissions by the transportation sector


Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Transportation Sector

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Transportation Sector The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In 2016, the transportation sector emitted 1,606 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e), accounting for 28.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Of that total, light-duty vehicles (LDVs) such as passenger cars and trucks accounted for the lion’s share, emitting 1,254 MMTCO2e in 2016, or 79.8 percent of total transportation sector emissions. On a global scale, the transportation sector accounts for about 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.

The transportation sector and greenhouse gas emissions

The transportation sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 14 percent of all such emissions globally in 2010. The majority of these emissions come from road vehicles, which emitted about 9.5 percent of all greenhouse gases in 2010. Aircraft also contribute a significant portion of transportation-related emissions, responsible for about 4.9 percent of total emissions in the same year.

A variety of factors contribute to the transportation sector’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of global trade and travel has resulted in increased demand for freight and passenger transport, leading to more vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT) and, consequently, more emissions. In addition, the composition of the vehicle fleet has changed over time, with more energy-intensive vehicles such as SUVs and trucks becoming increasingly common. And finally, improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency have not kept pace with the growth in VKT, meaning that even though vehicles are emitting less pollution per kilometer traveled, overall emissions from the sector are still rising.

There are a number of ways to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. One is to shift to cleaner fuels such as natural gas or electricity for buses and trains. Another is to promote the use of low-emitting cars and trucks, such as hybrid or electric vehicles. And finally, measures can be taken to improve vehicle fuel efficiency, such as setting stricter standards for new vehicles or investing in research and development for new technologies.

The different types of transportation

There are many different types of transportation that contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. The most common mode of transport is road transport, which accounted for almost 70% of total emissions in 2016. Other modes of transport include air, rail, and maritime transport.

Road transport is the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. In 2016, road transport accounted for 69.9% of total emissions. The majority of these emissions come from passenger cars and light-duty vehicles, which account for about 60% of road transport emissions.

Air transport is the second largest contributor to transportation sector emissions, accounting for 22.3% of total emissions in 2016. The majority of these emissions come from commercial aircraft, which account for about 80% of air transport emissions.

Rail and maritime transport are much less significant contributors to transportation sector emissions, accounting for 5.4% and 2.5% of total emissions respectively in 2016.

How to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector

-Public transportation: take the bus, carpool, or ride your bike instead of driving whenever possible.
-Electric vehicles: switch to an electric car, scooter, or bicycle.
-Fuel efficiency: drive a fuel-efficient vehicle and keep your tires inflated to improve gas mileage.
-Telecommuting: work from home one or more days a week to avoid commuting altogether.


It is evident that the transportation sector is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to reduce these emissions, it is important for both individuals and businesses to take action. Some simple steps that can be taken include using public transport where possible, carpooling, and cycling or walking instead of driving. Additionally, businesses can invest in low-emission vehicles and encourage employees to use alternative modes of transport. By taking these measures, we can help reduce the impact of the transportation sector on the environment.

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