The transportation sector is one of the fastest growing energy consumers and is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. This sector plays an important role in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are known for causing climate change. Transportation is vital to the economic development of nations and to the improvement of the quality of lives of people. However, the transportation of people and goods accounts for about 25% of all energy consumption in the world. Despite the fact that the developed countries, contribute most of the GHGs, the increasing level of motorization in the less developed countries, including Palestine, along with the lack of appropriate strategies, policies and regulations, makes transport as the single major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in these countries.
Mutual relationships between the transportation system and climate change have been identified in many studies worldwide. However, the intention in this paper is to illustrate the steps required towards dealing with the impacts of the transportation system on climate change. Achieving sustainable transportation in Palestine is essential to reduce the impacts of the sector on climate change, and therefore there is need to propose integrative planning processes, which would result in the identification of the proper strategies, policies and regulations that could be effective or sufficient to promote clean sustainable transport and in dealing with the complexity related to climate change. Some of the key strategies and policies that can be considered in this context include vehicle-oriented, such as promoting fuel efficiency, restrictions on automobile imports and ownership, and vehicle and fuel taxes, in addition to a range of other system-wide transportation related strategies, include traffic systems management, supporting active (pedestrian) transportation, priority treatment of public transport, as well as awareness-raising and education campaigns.
The paper assesses the current level of GHGs and energy consumption for the transportation sector and identifies the key factors that affect the related high GHGs emissions in Palestine. The paper then examines the benefits of adopting a National Strategic Framework for Clean Sustainable Transportation and proposes a national fuel efficiency policy for automobiles. Consequently, the paper presents the features of the proposed strategic framework.