Potential futures for road transportation CO2 emissions in the Asia Pacific

Peter J. Marcotullio, Julian D. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Will future transportation carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita in Asia Pacific economies follow historical trends of the now developed world? Evidence to date is inconclusive. A comparison at similar income levels (purchasing power parity) between recent emissions in Asia Pacific countries and historical emissions in developed countries suggests diverging patterns. (A) High-income Asia economies (Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore - 'low emitters') exhibit lower emissions than a selected sample of seven developed countries (United States, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and United Kingdom). (B) Another set of Asian countries (South Korea and Taiwan - 'medium emitters') follow the emissions trends of European countries, which are lower than those of Australia and the United States. (C) A third Asian group (Malaysia and Thailand - 'high emitters') exhibit emission trends comparable to that of Australia. We describe these trends, examine their causes and extrapolate likely futures for emissions in low-income Asia Pacific economies (China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). Although such predictions are speculative, the available evidence suggests that road CO2 emissions for Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam will follow those of the third group (high emitters), while those for China may follow either Group B or Group C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-377
Number of pages23
JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia Pacific
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Road transportation


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