Annual climate impact and primary energy use of Swedish transport infrastructure
By 2045, Sweden is to have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases. To reach this goal, stakeholders involved in planning and construction of Swedish transport infrastructure aim to half their climate impact by 2030. Planning for emission reduction measures require network level studies showing environmental impacts of the infrastructure network. Previous studies do not allow assessment of current hotspots in the infrastructure network, which limits their relevance for decision-support in this question. The aim of this paper is to assess the current annual climate impact and primary energy use of Swedish transport infrastructure by using a methodological approach based on life cycle assessment. The scope includes new construction and management (operation, maintenance, and reinvestment) of existing roads, railways, airports, ports, and fairway channels. The annual climate impact was estimated to 2.8 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents and the annual primary energy use was estimated to 27 terawatt hours. Mainly road and rail infrastructure contributed to these impacts. Environmental hotspots of the infrastructure network were management of the infrastructure stock (particularly reinvestment of road and rail infrastructure) and material production (particularly production of asphalt, steel, and concrete). If climate targets are to be met, these areas are particularly important to address. Additional research on impacts of small construction measures, the size of biogenic carbon emissions (in standing biomass as well as soil carbon), and the use and impacts of asphalt for road construction and management would further increase the understanding of impacts related to Swedish transport infrastructure at the network level.
(Note: an Erratum has been published to this paper in volume 20(2))