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n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - System dynamics as a tool for exploring greenhouse gas emission mitigation potential in freight transport : transportation engineering
South Africa's latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory indicates that in 2010 the transport sector contributed a total of 47.4 Mt CO2e in direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or 8.4% of the country's total emissions. Freight transport is thought to account for about half of the emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. It is widely recognised that the shift from road to rail is one of the biggest opportunities for reducing GHG emissions from the freight transport sector. Along with improved and alternative vehicle technologies and fuels, it is included as a mitigation option in government's Mitigation Potential Analysis. The road to- rail shift forms part of the Department of Transport's strategic goal to deliver an efficient and integrated infrastructure network, and will in part be facilitated by government's rail re-capitalisation programme. However, a shift from road to rail is not without its challenges. It is important to also understand the degree to which freight can be shifted to rail. Currently, most mitigation modelling efforts tend to assume a linear (or other simple) transition to a desired future modal split, without much consideration of how this can be achieved. For example, the Mitigation Potential Analysis assumes that a 70:30 rail-to-road split for freight transported along corridors is technically possible by 2050, based on work done in the development of the Western Cape Infrastructure Plan.
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