Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Wednesday 8 July - 15:00-16:30 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 107 - Block 24/34

2230 - Transport and climate change: mitigation and adaptation measures for transport infrastructures

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): P. Potemski (IFSTTAR, Marne la vallée, France)

Convener(s): M. Colin (CEREMA, Sourdun, France)

Socio-technical transitions to low-carbon consumption: Developing markets for electric mobility

J. Axsen (Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada)

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Socio-technical transitions to low-carbon consumption: Developing markets for electric mobility

J. Axsen (1)
(1) Simon Fraser University, Schoole of Resource and Environmental Management, Burnaby, BC, Canada

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Societal transitions to low-carbon consumption require substantial changes in technological development and consumer behavior. This study applies a socio-technical perspective to study transitions—assessing opportunities and obstacles that are political, technological and social, and how they develop and influence one another. The present focus is the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in Canada, a technology that is powered by electricity solely or in part. PEVs could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector, which currently accounts for 28 percent of Canada’s emissions.

The goal of this research is to characterize Canada's readiness for a socio-technical transition to PEVs and inform national and provincial GHG policy. Key uncertainties include Canadian consumers' awareness, perceptions, attitudes and values relating to PEV technology. Uncertain technical constraints include consumer driving patterns, access to PEV recharge infrastructure, and the GHG-intensity of electricity sources.

Data were collected via an in-depth, multi-part consumer survey completed by representative samples of vehicle buyers in Canada (n = 1,754), as well as electric vehicle owners in British Columbia (n = 112). Social readiness is assessed via questionnaire scales of awareness, attitudes, values and lifestyle. Consumers' technical readiness is assessed via a diary of driving behavior, and a questionnaire assessing home electrical infrastructure. Consumers' PEV design preferences were elicited via an innovative series of design exercises and discrete choice experiments. We then constructed regionally and temporally explicit models of PEV market penetration and use from disaggregated consumer data. These demand models are matched with provincial electricity generation data to estimate energy and GHG emissions impacts.

Results highlight opportunities and barriers for a transition to electric mobility. Opportunities includes findings that most car buyers already have access to some form of home based charging for these vehicles, and awareness of existing public charging infrastructure is not required to build consumer demand. Further, at least one-third want to buy some form of PEV under realistic price conditions, though patterns of preference, willingness-to-pay, and motivations differ substantially across segments of potentialy early market buyers (as identifed through latent class analysis).

Potential barriers include a broad lack of familiarity with PEV technology, and controversies about the true (lifecycle) environmental impacts of PEV usage. Most important is the role of strong climate policy, such as carbon pricing or regulations such as a Zero-Emissions Vehicle mandate (as implemented in California and several other U.S. states). Without such supply-focused policies in Canada, it is unlikely that a substantial transition to electric mobility will occur in the coming decades.

Knowledge of PEV impacts, readiness and policy priorities is highly valuable to policymakers considering PEV deployment to meet GHG goals, as well as electric utilities, urban planners and automakers. These results also enhance knowledge regarding the social and technical challenges of low-carbon societal transitions.

15:00

GHG assessments and LCA approaches

A. Jullien (Ifsttar, BOUGUENAIS, France)

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GHG assessments and LCA approaches
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15:15

Benchmarking approaches for LCA and recommendations from selected regions and situations and How to move from recommendations to implementation

H. Li

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Benchmarking approaches for LCA and recommendations from selected regions and situations and How to move from recommendations to implementation
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15:30

A review of adaptation practices in Europe and challenges ahead

B. Georgi (European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark), A. Aparicio (European Environmental Agency / Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

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A review of adaptation practices in Europe and challenges ahead

B. Georgi (1) ; A. Aparicio (2)
(1) European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark; (2) European Environmental Agency / Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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This presentation makes a summary of recent adaptation initiatives in the transport sector in Europe, and discusses the key challenges ahead, based on the recent report of the European Environment Agency (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/adaptation-of-transport-to-climate). The factual information collected was based on data available in the Climate-ADAPT information platform, a literature review, case studies provided by many stakeholders, and a questionnaire on transport and adaptation addressed to EEA member countries in 2013. A total of 23 countries answered this questionnaire. Although the results obtained reflect the perceptions of a limited number of respondents, they provide interesting insights and encourage further analysis and discussions.

The review of experiences in Europe shows that mainstreaming adaptation into regular transport planning, and into other policies and plans, is not yet common. For example, measures planned in the context of low carbon transport like improved inter-modality offer also options for adapting transport to climate change but currently do not include it. Many tools developed for natural disaster risk management or contingency plans can easily be made relevant for climate change adaptation too. Meanwhile the adaptation focus is mostly on transport infrastructure, with little attention given so far to proof operations for future climate impacts.

Attention to adaptation remains relatively low in the transport agenda, particularly when compared to action in mitigation. Current action focuses on early, conceptual stages and less, so far, on implementation in spite of the urgent need to consider climate change impacts in those infrastructure investments being made now. Measures mostly follow a piecemeal and spontaneous approach, and are often organised autonomously by the different stakeholders. This fragmented approach is unlikely to be efficient or to guarantee the necessary consistency to address long-term challenges. Effective adaptation of the transport system requires moving from isolated and spontaneous adaptation to integrated, complementary and mutually supportive action of the many different stakeholders involved in and outside the sector.

Climate change mitigation is strongly influencing contemporary long-term visions on transport. Future transport systems (2050 and beyond) could be quite different from today's concepts: economic and social changes may alter current transport needs and transport generation patterns; technological and operational innovations may phase out currently dominant mobility solutions; governance reforms could provide more participatory and transparent decision making approaches, better balancing accessibility needs and environmental footprints. In such a dynamic environment, efforts focusing merely in adapting today's transport systems to future changes in climate could result in dedicating resources to problems that may no longer remain a priority in the long-term future, when adaptation may actually be needed. Ironically, adaptation actions with a narrow approach on today's systems could jeopardize the transition towards low-carbon transport concepts. It cannot be taken for granted that the transport system in 30 years from now will basically remain the same we know today: in fact, influential actors, including many national governments and the European Union (e.g. in the 2011 White Paper on Transport) are actively pushing to achieve a low-carbon transport system in the long term.

Significant changes are expected within the coming years in the transport sector. These are the combined result, among alia, of changes in the root causes of transport demand, changes in accessibility needs, and the implementation of innovative concepts. Although this long-term thinking has been largely influenced by climate change mitigation considerations, adaptation has largely been absent. Integrating adaptation objectives within these concepts could help to better identify the adequate policies, and could also help to properly assess and select the adequate adaptation actions to undertake in the short, medium and long term.

15:40

Cross-border cooperation on adaptation strategies for roads in Europe

M. Grauert (CEDR, Copenhagen, Denmark)

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Cross-border cooperation on adaptation strategies for roads in Europe

M. Grauert (1)
(1) CEDR, Copenhagen, Denmark

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CEDR (Conference of Directors of Roads) is a European confederation of national road authorities (NRAs) that works on facilitating the exchange of experience and information and to analyse and discuss all road-related issues, especially infrastructure, infrastructure management, traffic and transport, financing, legal and economic problems, safety, environment, and research in all of these areas.

Road directors of Europe (CEDR) are aware of the importance of improving European cooperation. This is a key element for making progress in the road and road transport sector and strengthening the relationship with other modes of transport and with society at large.

Addressing climate change adaptation is becoming a very important task in CEDR, as road owners see the consequences of changes as an increasing matter. Cross-border cooperation in an appointed “Task group on climate change adaptation and mitigation” has become a valuable tool to facilitate National Road Administrations outline a strategy for adapting roads to climate change.

The strategy is centered on management, improvement, prevention and cooperation, and provides specific examples on areas to consider. These include examples of information to road users, incident management, implementation through planning phases, tools for risk analyses, legislative work, research and information sharing and many others.

Likewise, a template for an action plan is provided, giving examples on how to ensure responsibility and anchor climate change adaptation in the organization and create awareness in order to actually direct the organization towards a more climate-resilient profile.

The work of the CEDR-task group is a sound example in the context on how cross-border collaborations between NRA’s can yield more than merely networking for enhanced means of climate change adaptation. A key outcome of the CEDR-work group on climate change is to provide a paradigm on composing a directly implementable strategy and action plan to every road organization, a plan which likewise will be applicable to other modes of transportation, e.g. railroads.

15:50

An example of adaptation in France - From climate scenarios to transportation infrastructures adaptation: climate change impacts on transportation infrastructures

M. Colin (CEREMA, Sourdun, France)

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An example of adaptation in France - From climate scenarios to transportation infrastructures adaptation: climate change impacts on transportation infrastructures
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16:00

Q&A session and Discussion

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Q&A session and Discussion
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