Decarbonising transport is an essential piece of the puzzle for the UK to meet our overall net zero by 2050 goal. How can the UK meet its climate targets at the same time as meeting an increasing demand for transport? How can the overall decarbonisation needed be met by sharing the burden fairly and strategically between different geographies? This theme will look at options for integrated planning for decarbonisation across the North.
Social Acceptance and Societal Readiness
To decarbonise transport we need everyone to be on board! How can we ensure that innovations for decarbonised travel are ready for people and places? This requires taking account of existing transport infrastructures and services in future designs; considering how populations vary and the implications for inclusivity and access; the different place-specific systems and cultures of mobility which might be harnessed for positive change; how the end uses (which underpin travel demands) vary across the region, and how these might be transformed. Innovation must be designed and applied in ways that are attuned to such place-specific characteristics by asking ‘Is your innovation ready for this society?’ Read more here.
Future Transport Fuels
The transition from petrol and diesel to zero emissions vehicles is central to the future of mobility and clean growth. However, there are different requirements for bikes, cars, trucks, trains, boats and planes, with different feasible technological options and different markets to be considered. How can a shift to electric vehicles be enabled in tandem with changes to the electricity system? Across what scales is joined-up planning required and how should tax and subsidy be targeted? When might more localised biofuel or waste energy solutions be preferable? This theme will work closely with other research networks looking at hydrogen, bioenergy and sustainable freight to develop evidence across fuel types and geographic contexts.
Digitisation, Demand and Infrastructure
We must adopt a whole life-cycle approach to ensure that decarbonising transport doesn’t pass the carbon burden to other systems, such as manufacturing and maintenance. This theme will address previously ignored trade-offs between demand growth, demand management, infrastructure control and capacity expansion from a whole life-cycle perspective. DecarboN8 will link existing models and datasets to open up understanding of these trade-offs and support evidence-based transitions optimised for place.