Greenhouse gas mitigation in the transport sector in South Africa

Main sectors: TRANSPORT


WWF South Africa

Problem Statement:

WWF South Africa is active across the country in advocating for change towards a more sustainable environment. The transport sector is one which gives rise to a significant proportion of South Africa’s emissions; has high greenhouse gas mitigation potential and at the same time can contribute to social upliftment through provision of mobility to those who currently do not have access. This project sought to implement some of the outcomes from the previous low carbon action plan, through exploring both passenger and freight related mitigation opportunities.

The Green House approach:

The project consisted of three key components. The first of these, which constituted the bulk of the work, was the development of a systems dynamics model of the freight sector. Through system dynamics modelling, the impact of the wide range of variables and uncertainties which impact on decision makers’ choice of transport mode for the goods were demonstrated, thereby providing an understanding of key points for leverage to effect change. The tool is distributed through a user-friendly web-based interface which can be used by a wide range of role players.

The second component was a high-level study of global experience in implementing mitigation in the transport sector and an analysis of emissions profiles in Gauteng.

The third component consisted of facilitating a series of workshops with labour unions across South Africa, to educate them on the climate challenge, and identify actions which they could take to reduce emissions.


The main outcomes of the project were a systems dynamics model of the transport sector and a number of research reports on cases studies and opportunities for transition to low carbon alternatives in the transport sector. Various project outputs are available for download by clicking here.