North Rhine-Westphalia is the most densely populated state in Germany and is a key hub for the logistics sector – meaning correspondingly high volumes of traffic. Climate neutrality can therefore only be achieved if a transformation of the transport sector is successful.
The transport sector in North Rhine-Westphalia emits more than 30 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year (2019). This corresponds to a 14-per-cent share, which means the sector is the next-greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy and industrial sectors in North Rhine-Westphalia. Making mobility and transport sustainable in a short space of time is therefore one of the greatest challenges of this century and decarbonising transport is crucially important in this respect. In other words: cars, lorries, buses, trains, etc. must produce fewer emissions than previously. To do this, the use of fossil fuels has to be reduced substantially. This is already currently possible thanks to electricity, hydrogen and synthetic fuels, which are produced from renewable energy, and biogenic fuels. These climate-neutral fuels must, however, be used more widely than they have been in the past.
The transition in the transport sector in NRW must be implemented by 2030
German and European climate targets can only be achieved if the transport sector undergoes a transformation. In specific terms, in German climate legislation the reduction of carbon emissions from transport has been set at 48 per cent by 2030 as compared to 1990. The German transport sector would thereby still be allowed to emit 85 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents. The North Rhine-Westphalia transport sector’s share would be just slightly less than 19 million tonnes.