ITF predicts global transport activity to double by 2050
The OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF) has released its Transport Outlook 2021. The transport policy think tank report was released ahead of the annual virtual summit of transport ministers this week.
The ITF predicts that global transport activity will more than double by 2050 and that traffic-related emissions will increase by 16% from 2015 baselines – even though existing commitments to decarbonise transport are fully implemented.
Global freight transport activity is also expected to increase 2.6 times (measured in tonne-km) – CO2 emissions from freight are expected to increase by 22%.
The maritime industry suffers from a moral hazard problem
The report notes that transportation is at a critical juncture and bold action is needed to scale up ready-to-adopt freight decarbonization measures to reduce both costs and emissions. This will require a series of measures to promote international cooperation, as the carbon footprint of freight transport is as large as that of the movement of people.
Among the main takeaways from the report is a prediction that the role of small players in the freight transportation market may diminish.
“The economic crisis, increased automation, the expansion of online retailing and investments in DT could lead to market consolidation by giving less space to smaller players,” the report said, while raising familiar complaints about the ability of container shipping to cut capacity en masse to drive up tariffs. .
The ITF also touched on another issue that it has focused a lot on in recent years: shipping and taxation.
“The shipping industry suffers from a moral hazard problem. The assurance that operators will be bailed out in combination with tax exemptions allows transport companies to offload their risks to the public sector, ”the report says, claiming that global shipping pays a corporate tax rate. around 7% compared to global legislation. 24% tax rate.
The ITF’s policy recommendations include governments that prioritize decarbonizing freight as much as transporting passengers. Governments must also create business cases for decarbonizing freight, the ITF insists.
“Governments need to create a coherent framework of economic and regulatory incentives and sanctions to align economic goals with sustainability goals. The toolkit could include carbon taxes, zoning restrictions, fuel warrants and bailouts conditional on decarbonization actions, ”the report said.
Outlining this year’s outlook, ITF General Secretary Young Tae Kim said: “The report provides decision-makers with insights from the ITF’s cutting-edge research on the three big challenges of our time: the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and inequalities. It shows how they are linked, but also identifies actions – actions that are essential to ensure an efficient and fair transition to sustainable mobility at urban, regional and global levels in the aftermath of the pandemic. “