All Change: Equitably Decarbonising India's Transportation Sector

Abstract

Executive summary: Key findings • There is limited focus on just transitions in the transport sector: in both academic literature and policy to date, technical solutions have received policy and research priority, but there is limited focus on how end-users will be affected by transport transitions, and whether these transitions will be equitable, inclusive and just. Several factors should be addressed under this: ensuring that transitions lead to affordable mobility solutions for all users is a key point, as is ensuring that job losses from high-carbon mobility services are compensated for by job creation in low-carbon mobility. From our key informant interviews, policymakers are focused on the supply-side when considering transport transitions, contrasting with users’ concerns of demand-side support and downstream services, particularly for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. These tensions need to be addressed in policy. • There is potential for significant socio-economic impacts from the transition: this research has investigated the potential pains and gains of the transition to electric mobility, particularly electric road transport, in the Indian transport sector. There is potential for job losses both in the downstream oil sector and the downstream mobility services sector as the EV transition progresses due to reduced petroleum product consumption and a lesser burden of maintenance for electric vehicles compared to ICE vehicles. This also has the potential to impact government revenues from fuel taxation and place a higher burden on the government purse from increased electricity subsidy outlay. • Just transition alternatives exist: from the scenarios presented in this research, it is clear the current policy trend does not foreground justice and equity in the low-carbon transport transition, and this will lead to significant negative impacts for disadvantaged sectors of society. Policy alternatives exist to foreground justice in the transport transition, including participatory co-development of policy with end-users, and engendering greater coordination between transport and energy sectors and within the transport sector to ensure users are targeted equally across socio-economic strata with low-carbon mobility solutions.

Description

open access report

Keywords

Transport, Just Transitions, Equitably, Decarbonisation, EV's, Policy

Citation

Mitchell, A., Rowlatt, J. and Kerr, D.W. (2022) All Change: Equitably Decarbonising India's Transportation Sector, The British Academy, London

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)