Guidance for the transport sector

Why take action?

As the fastest-growing source of emissions worldwide, it is critical for the transport sector to become more sustainable and help limit global temperature rise to 1.5ºC.

Passenger, freight and OEM

Transport companies can set targets using the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi’s) Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA) Transport Tool: a technical resource to model science-based targets. The tool is focused on the passenger and freight land transportation sectors. It provides greenhouse gas emissions accounting guidance and best practices for science-based target setting.


The SBTi has developed the Science Based Target Setting Guidance and Tool for the Maritime Transport Sector, to enable companies within this industry to set emission reduction targets in line with 1.5°C. This was developed with the support of WWF, UMAS and Smart Freight Centre (SFC).

A month-long public consultation was held from March 2021 to April 2021. Experts in the maritime sector provided feedback on the draft guidance and target-setting tool to help ensure the criteria and guidance are robust, clear, and practical.

The SBTi Maritime Guidance is now available, as well as the Target Setting Tool.

To learn more, visit the maritime project page.


In February 2023, the SBTi released a technical report detailing an interim pathway for aviation companies to set 1.5°C-aligned science-based targets.

This pathway is designed to harmonize existing sector guidance with the SBTi’s current criteria. It allows aviation companies to meet the minimum ambition levels required by the criteria, and provides a short-term, accessible option for them to set science-based net-zero targets.

Learn more about the interim pathway.

Contact the project leads for more information.

Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA) Transport tool

Our Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA) Transport Tool can be used to model science-based targets. Key features include:

  • 15 transport sub-sectors

  • An approach for original equipment manufacturers (for scope 3, use phase science-based target setting)

  • Inclusion of the International Energy Agency Beyond 2°C scenario (B2DS)

The sectors available in the tool include:

  • Passenger: 2-3 wheelers, light-duty vehicles, buses, mini-buses, urban rail, non-urban rail
  • Freight: 2-3 wheelers, light commercial vehicles, medium freight trucks, heavy freight trucks, rail

Transport mode definitions can be found in the guidance document, along with a step-by-step description on how to use the tool, GHG accounting guidance, best practices for target-setting and more information on the science-based target approaches used in the tool.

The tool can be used by passenger transport companies, logistics service providers, shippers, carriers, postal companies, road vehicle manufacturers, auto part manufacturers, and generally companies with large transport emissions in their value chain.

To complement these target-setting resources, a tool is available for manufacturers of passenger light-duty (PLDV) vehicles to model science-based GHG reduction targets for their scope 1 and 2 emissions. This tool applies the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach method and uses data from the International Energy Agency 2017 Energy Technology Perspectives report and 2017 Mobility Model data.

Take a look at this visualization for more information on indexed projections and trajectories embedded in the tool and derived from the Mobility Model of the International Energy Agency.

Background Resources

Browse more sectors

If your sector is not listed here, you can still set a science-based target using our methods and resources. Consult the step-by-step guide to get started.

Sector Status
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