Passenger cars and road freight are significant causes of CO2-emissions in the Nordic countries. While for passenger cars, CO2-reducing policy measures have started to sort effect, this is much less the case for freight transport. Meanwhile, demand for freight transport is expected to keep rising.
For freight transport, all Nordic countries face sizable emission reduction gaps compared to their 2030 climate commitments.
In a new report, researchers at TØI and VTI, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, and Tampere University of Technology have conducted a study on the reduction of CO2-emissions from freight transport, focusing on road transport.
Over the last decade, developments in CO2-emissions from freight transport have differed between the Nordic countries. While Sweden and Denmark report drops in CO2-emissions from freight transport, Norway and Finland have been at a relative standstill. Forecasts indicate that CO2-emissions from freight transport in Norway will further increase towards 2030, while emissions in Denmark are expected to lie around the same level in 2030 as they do today. Sweden and Finland expect reductions, but like for Norway and Denmark, existing and planned policy alone is not sufficient if non-ETS CO2-reduction objectives for 2030 are applied directly to freight transport.
For that reason, the report concludes that a trend change is needed. However, measures aimed at reducing transport demand, modal shift, or increasing vehicle utilization levels, only have a relatively limited CO2-reduction potential. It is therefore important to use measures that support technological change and the increased use of lower-carbon fuels. The report further finds that better insights in the cost-effectiveness of policies and greater cross-border coordination may benefit policy effectiveness.
The report is financed by Nordic Council of Ministers.