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Transport Matters$
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Iain Docherty and Jon Shaw

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447329558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447329558.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Energy, pollution and climate change

Energy, pollution and climate change

(p.55) 3 Energy, pollution and climate change
Transport Matters

Jillian Anable

Christian Brand

Policy Press

Despite decades of focus on energy efficiency and technical solutions for vehicles and fuels, the transport sector is a large and growing contributor to the climate crisis alongside other serious environmental consequences attributed to the combustion of fossil fuel. Vehicle efficiency improvements have failed to outpace the demand for the distance travelled and have therefore failed to result in absolute reductions in energy used. This chapter takes stock at this pivotal point among a constellation of so-called transport ‘revolutions’ and ponders the need to reframe the core concept of ‘energy efficiency’ if it is to be a useful focal point for sustainable action in this sector. The core contention is that the goal of energy efficiency has become so embedded in the discourses attached to low carbon transport that it has crowded out discussion of any unintended consequences or, most importantly, where we want the taken-for granted efficient and decarbonised pathways to ultimately lead. An alternative framework is proposed which opens the debate around whether levels of mobility demand are themselves unsustainable and consistent and meaningful efforts to manage demand based on notions of ‘sufficiency’ might be a more effective and potentially equitable route to lower energy demand.

Keywords:   Energy, Emissions, Climate Change, Demand Management, Sufficiency

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