Transitioning India’s road transport sector: realising climate and air quality benefits

India aims to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2070 – a demanding task given the country’s ambitious sustainable development objectives. Road transport currently accounts for a relatively small share in national CO2 emissions, but as India seeks to satisfy the mobility needs of its growing, urbanising and rapidly developing population, energy demand and CO2 emissions from the sector could double by 2050, locking in emissions and putting at risk the achievement of the long-term climate goal. This report, prepared at the request of India’s public think tank NITI Aayog, provides a detailed picture on how CO2 emissions from road transport are likely to grow under existing policies and compares these projections with a pathway that could bring the sector on track with the 2070 goal. It discusses various policy options that the country could consider to accelerate the shift to sustainable road transport, focussing on the benefits that energy efficiency improvements and a switch to cleaner energy sources can bring. The report also quantifies the co‑benefits a rapid decarbonisation of road transport can bring in terms of tackling air pollution – one of India’s most pressing environmental challenges.