Pathways to deep decarbonization of the passenger transport sector in the United Kingdom

A key challenge for transport policy in the UK is the Government’s own domestic climate legislation, which mandates “at least” an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to 1990 levels by 2050. Past analysis reveals that achieving this target translates into a requirement for the carbon intensity of transport to decline by around 70% on average by 2050. We describe two new scenarios that provide distinctive visions of how passenger transport could evolve in the future, driven by rapid technological progress, changes to societal mobility trends, and the requirement to transition towards low or net-zero energy systems. Both of the scenarios presented achieve similar levels of decarbonisation by 2050, but take very different pathways towards that destination.