India in transit: modelling alternative transport transition pathways and investment needs in India in the transport transition pathway explorer

India, currently the most populous country globally and the fourth-largest economy, is at a crucial juncture in achieving decarbonisation. At the core is its transport sector, which is responsible for about 14% of the country’s direct energy-related emissions. Despite commendable progress in reducing emissions intensity, India faces challenges in aligning its transport sector with a net-zero trajectory by 2070 or, ideally, 2050. The current transport landscape in India is characterized by challenges in accessibility, affordability, and sustainability, particularly impacting rural areas and low-income households. Road-based transport dominates, contributing significantly to air pollution and hindering progress in achieving sustainable development goals. The demand for private vehicles is growing, which cannot be reconciled with the objective of enabling transport access for all in a sustainable, convenient, efficient, and affordable manner. All of this highlights the need for a reconceptualization of India’s transport transition. In this vein, this paper employs the Transport Transition Pathway Explorer (TTPE) to show options for a just transport transition in India, reconciling the twin goals of achieving climate goals and meeting sustainable development targets.