The ATO 2030 Outlook is a reference scenario that extrapolates historical development trends into the future. It uses the 2030 timeline to cover all modes of domestic transport and 51 economies in the Asia Pacific region. To lay out likely trends and developments, the report considers a "reference scenario". This reference scenario does not describe what will happen or what should happen; instead, it explores what could happen. Technically, the reference scenario is a baseline 'trend' scenario replicating past performance with historical development trends being extrapolated into the future.
In this first Outlook, transport is measured taking into account the following questions to help stakeholders better understand the future of mobility and accessibility in Asia.
The Outlook projects that transport infrastructure, as well as passenger and freight activity will continue to grow (infrastructure by 40%, passenger activity by 30%, freight activity by 60% from 2020 to 2030). At the same time, while transport activity will increase considerably, air pollution associated with transport and road safety will decrease in absolute terms and improve relative to 2000 (decrease in PM emissions by 30%, road crash fatality by 20% from 2020 to 2030). This does however not apply to CO2 emissions from transport (increase by 20% over 2020 to 2030). Overall these will continue to grow and in our reference scenario it is not expected that these will peak before 2030.
Overall the trends indicate that the transport sector will continue to grow. However, the relative size and performance of the sector will still need to catch up to the global north. While the negative impacts of air pollution and road crashes will decrease, it is not likely that related SDG targets will be met. Although CO2 emissions from transport continue to grow, the intensity of growth is expected to decrease.