October 29, 2010


Dr. Andreas Schäfer, Visiting Professor, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University; Lecturer, Director of the Martin Centre and University, University of Cambridge, UK


Transportation consumes two-thirds of the world’s petroleum and has become the largest contributor to global environmental change. Most of this increase in scale can be attributed to the strong desire for personal mobility that comes with economic growth. This talk will cover the past and future travel demand; the influence of personal and business choices on passenger travel’s climate impact; technologies and alternative fuels that may become available to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from passenger transport; and policies that would promote a more sustainable transportation system. And most important, when all of these options are taken together, it will consider whether a more sustainable transportation system is possible in the next thirty to fifty years, or whether we must accept a future where transportation remains a major contributor to climate change. This talk is based on a recently published book “Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World” (MIT Press), by Andreas Schäfer and three MIT-colleagues, John B. Heywood, Henry D. Jacoby, and Ian A. Waitz.

Biographical Sketch

Andreas Schäfer is a faculty member at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he directs the Martin Center for Architectural and Urban Studies and co-directs the Institute for Aviation and the Environment.  He recently joined the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University as a Visiting Professor, while on sabbatical.  He holds a MSc in Aero-and Astronautical Engineering and a PhD in Energy Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.  Prior to his tenure in Cambridge, he spent five years at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria and seven years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His interests include energy and transportation systems analysis.