The transport sector is responsible for approximately one quarter of all energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


  • The transport sectors is responsible for approximately one quarter of all energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Today's transport sector is predominantly based on combustion of fossil fuels, making it one of the largest sources of both urban and regional air pollution.
  • Recent studies estimate outdoor air pollution to cause over 3.2 million premature deaths each year worldwide (The Health Effects Institute: December 2012).
  • Transport is the cause of a multitude of additional environmental consequences, ranging from loss of land and open space to noise-related nuisance.
  • According to the World Health Organization, about 1.24 million peopledie each year as a result of road traffic crashes. 91% of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in developing countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world's vehicles .
  • The vast majority of people living in developing countries rely on walking and cycling to meet their daily mobility needs. Some 80% of trips in African countries are still made by foot. Unfortunately, many do so under dangerous conditions, due to poor infrastructure, a lack of integrated public transport systems, and a quickly increasing number of old and ill maintained, hence highly polluting, motor vehicles sharing the same road space with pedestrians, cyclists, dunky carts etc.
  • The lack of access to clean, safe and affordable transport has its toll on local development – from access to education to food security to forgone opportunities for productive use of people’s time.


Today, the transport sector is responsible for approximately one-quarter of all energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whilst governments are increasingly active with regards to air pollution and reducing the energy used by the transport sector, there is often a large gap between the technology available and best practice know-how, as well as the networks necessary to build consensus and the actual implementation of transformative change. UNEP addresses these gaps through the implementation of four global transport programmes that promote a paradigm shift towards a less car-intensive world:

  • Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles(PCFV)
  • Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI)
  • Share the road;
  • Publictransport

UNEP recognizes thebenefits of ‘mode shifting’, which implies the change from private motor vehicle use to public transport and non-motorized transport (NMT), such as walking and bicycling, through better planning and infrastructure.

For more information on UNEP Transport, please visit


Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV)

PCFV aims to assist developing countries reduce vehicular air pollution through the promotion of lead-free, low sulphur fuels to 50ppm and below, and cleaner vehicle standards and technologies.

Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI)

GFEI, which was launched in early 2009, aims to facilitate large reductions of GHG and oil use through improvements in automotive fuel economy in the face of rapidly growing car use worldwide. The GFEI partnership works towards the improvement of average fuel economy (reduction in fuel consumption per kilometre) of 50 per cent worldwide by 2050.

Share the road

Through its ‘Share the road’ programme, UNEP also works to catalyse policies in government and donor agencies for systematic investments in walking and cycling road infrastructure, linked with public transport systems, such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems.