Every two years, the International Transport Forum (ITF) publishes the ITF Transport Outlook, which provides an overview of current trends and near-term prospects for the global transport sector based on its in-house transport models.

The transport sector plays a significant role in increasing access to opportunities and influencing individuals’ economic and social outcomes. It also contributes to sustainable development worldwide and is a crucial global actor in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

However, the sector also accounts for 23% of the world’s energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Transport policy makers and planners therefore face a critical challenge: how to meet increasing transport demand while reducing emissions.

The ITF contributes to meeting this challenge in multiple ways.

Through its Decarbonising Transport initiative, the ITF provides decision makers with tools to select CO2 mitigation measures that deliver on their climate commitments. These tools include a knowledge base of actionable measures (the ITF Transport Climate Action Directory), in-depth sectoral studies of national decarbonisation pathways and accompanying policy dialogues involving high-level roundtables and technical workshops.

The Secretariat to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has named the ITF as a focal point for transport under its Marrakech Partnership. In this role, the ITF supports the exchange of information between actors in the transport sector, the UNFCCC and the High-Level Action Champions Team, as well as providing inputs to the UNFCCC process. The ITF also tracks governments’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) made under the Paris Agreement through its constantly updated Transport NDC Tracker.

In this context, the ITF Transport Outlook 2023 performs a crucial role. By projecting future transport demand and the associated CO2 emissions, and examining different policy scenarios with more or less ambitious decarbonisation pathways, it offers policy makers critical indicators they need to support policy decisions that will have long-lasting consequences.

The ITF Transport Outlook 2023 was approved for publication by the ITF’s Transport Research Committee at its March 2023 meeting in Paris.

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