CICERO - Center for International Climate Research
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The climate impact of Norwegians' travel behavior

Borgar Aamaas, Glen Peters

Transportation is the largest sector in Norway in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The mitigation potential of this sector can be better understood by investigating the climate impact of disaggregated data on travel behavior. Here, we use travel behavior data for Norwegians travelling domestically and abroad in 2009 to explore mitigation potential in Norwegian transportation. The climate impact of this aggregated data is calculated by including the impact of all relevant long-lived greenhouse gases and short-lived climate forcers. The climate responses have been compared by using a range of emission metrics (both global temperature change and integrated radiative forcing, both pulse and sustained emissions for time horizons up to 100 years). For most choices, the total climate impact is dominated about equally by air (55 ± 20%) and car transport (36 ± 19%), with air transport having a slightly stronger impact for a majority of the cases. The highest income quintile causes a climate impact that is 240% larger than the lowest income quintile. The few trips longer than 100 km contribute to 68% of the impact. In addition, we analyze what the effect would be from several proposed mitigation policy targets in Norway and find that policies focused on technology have larger impacts than those on travel behavior.

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