The world is rapidly motorizing. At the start of the twenty-first century, some one billion vehicles occupied the roads. But this number will likely double in the next decade. By mid-century the Earth could be home to billions more cars, trucks, and motorized two-wheelers, which will collectively have profound effects on global oil demands, energy security, climate stability, and urban mobility.
We are at a critical crossroad. The global proliferation of vehicles presents many risks and opportunities. One seemingly easy way forward is to adopt last-century approaches that seek to accommodate the high demand for vehicles through cheap oil, free roads, sprawled development, and subsidized home ownership. A preferred alternative course beckons, however, one that promises new, low-carbon, location-efficient, economically productive mobility. Government, industry, and consumers—especially in emerging economies—can reinvent transportation models and employ innovative solutions to avoid a foreboding car monoculture.
The Carnegie Energy and Climate Program engages global experts working on issues relating to energy technology, environmental science, and political economy to develop practical solutions for policymakers around the world. The program aims to provide the leadership and the policy framework necessary to minimize the risks that stem from global climate change and competition for resources.
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