Anglia Ruskin University
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Transport sector decarbonisation - a social sciences and humanities annotated bibliography

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posted on 2023-07-26, 16:55 authored by Katrin Buchmann, Rosalyn A. V. Robison, Chris Foulds
The challenge: * By 2014, transport had overtaken power companies as the sector with the highest carbon emissions across the European Union (EU). * From 1990 to 2014, EU road transport emissions rose by 17% and aviation emissions by 82%. Road transport accounted for 70% of EU transport emissions in 2014. Aim: * European energy policy has so far mainly relied on research from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Energy-related Social Sciences and Humanities (energy-SSH) have been significantly underrepresented. This bibliography provides a broad overview of SSH perspectives on transport decarbonisation. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather aimed at presenting initial insights into the variety of questions posed, areas explored, and methods used by SSH scholars and demonstrating their relevance for EU energy policy. Coverage: * This bibliography presents publications from History, Human Geography, Sociology, Urban Planning, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Theology, Economics, Philosophy and Ethics, Criminology, as well as intersectional disciplines such as Transport, Tourism, and Gender studies. * In order to better represent SSH debates, some transport publications which were of wider relevance to decarbonisation (but did not solely focus on it) were included. Key findings: * Much research concerns technological fixes and individual consumer choices. Consumer research tends to focus on attitudes towards technologies or policies, what determines transport mode preference, or what might prompt mode shift. There is less research on institutional and systemic issues, as well as the role of corporations. * Since the 1990s, the so-called ‘Mobilities turn’ has become dominant, associated with Miriam Sheller, John Urry, Tim Cresswell and Marc Augé. This paradigm emphasises the role of travel, globalisation and movement for our contemporary world. * A large volume of research was found on the car (including electric cars), cycling, commuting, and short distance urban travel. * Underrepresented topics include rural mobility, long distance travel, and shipping and freight. Walking has received far less decarbonisation focused enquiry than cycling. * Whilst not all EU research could be represented, intra-EU differences were noted: e.g. the greater importance of two wheelers in Latvia; how more children to walk to school in Eastern European countries; the renaissance of the tram in France; and the large proportion of urban Finns frequently driving to their rural second home. * Across the span of SSH, researchers frame the problem of transport decarbonisation differently (both from each other, and from more technical disciplines). These framings often point towards different solutions. For instance, they ask: what is the effect of technological, demographic and economic trends on transport emissions?; why do policymakers/scholars focus on certain transport solutions over others?; how do transport modes ‘compete’?; how does the meaning of transport change over time?; and why do we travel?


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Cambridge, UK

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  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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