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Global transportation CO2 emission share by subsector 2050

The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and light-duty vehicles are expected to contribute to the largest share of carbon dioxide emissions from this sector, totaling 38 percent and 36 percent, respectively. In comparison, shipping is responsible for a much smaller share of emissions, with international shipping creating the bulk of these emissions. Most of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, including gasoline and diesel.

Mitigating emissions

Emissions from the transportation sector main arise from fossil fuel combustion for cars, trucks, ships, trains, and airplanes. Without aggressively implemented mitigation policies, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise over the next decades. Demand for transportation in emerging regions is currently lower than in developed countries; however, it is expected to rise much quicker in the near future due to increasing incomes. Direct emissions from the transportation sector can be reduced by avoiding journeys and behavioral changes, improving vehicle performance technologies, using low carbon fuels, and investing in transportation infrastructure.

Distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector worldwide in 2050, by subsector

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Release date

April 2017



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The figures are estimates. Based on an estimated 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

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Statistics on "Transportation emissions in the United States"

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