GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

“Carbon in Motion 2050” for North America and Latin America


This study presents a set of two low carbon transportation scenarios, Globalization and Glocalization, where carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be heavily reduced in North American and Latin America. The scenarios illustrate how different policy assumptions and energy intensities could reduce emissions through backcasting and long-term projection approaches. Three main policy groups, transportation technologies and strategies, land use planning and pricing instruments design, are assumed to trigger modal shifts and trip reductions. In Globalization, strong international cooperation to decrease CO2 emissions leads to innovations in vehicle technologies and stricter standards, while in Glocalization, local concerns for reducing transportation problems lower distance traveled and create modal shifts to less CO2 intensive modes, through significant changes in land use and transportation planning. Under Glocalization, total transportation CO2 emission in 2050 is approximately 78 percent less than in the “Business as Usual” (BAU) scenario for North America and only 34 percent of 2005 level. For Latin America, CO2 emission in 2050 is 76 percent less than BAU, and 71 percent of 2005 level. The changes envisaged in these scenarios differ for the highly motorized North America and the less motorized Latin America. North America must bring about reductions in total distance traveled by automobiles and air, whereas Latin American is still able to expand automobile use and air travel, yet not at its current rate. Both regions must adopt low-carbon technologies, but this may be easier in Latin America, since there is far less capital sunk in a carbon intensive transportation system.