Indicator 78. CO2 intensity of new power generation capacity installed (gCO2 per kWh), and of new cars (gCO2/pkm) and trucks (gCO2/tkm)

Rationale and definition:

The generation of electricity from the power sector and the consumption of fuel in the transport sector are responsible for a large share of total global GHG emissions. Ultimately, to achieve the levels of emissions reductions necessary to limit the global temperature increase to 2°C or below, the power and transport sectors need to dramatically reduce the emissions associated with the provision of these energy services. Tracking the evolution of the CO2 intensity of new additions to these sectors is therefore important to assess how these sectors are evolving based on market conditions and policy frameworks in each country.

The proposed power sector indicator is defined as the amount (measured in grams) of CO2 emissions per unit of generated electricity (measured in kilowatt-hour) from new capacities installed (between two dates of measurement of the indicator).

The proposed transport indicators are defined as the amount (measured in grams) of CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer travelled (pkm) for new cars, and per ton kilometer travelled (tkm) for new trucks (between two dates of measurement of the indicator).

For the transport sector, changes in activity levels are key drivers of the increase in transport-related CO2 emissions globally, but absolute levels of transport-related CO2 emissions are linked to a country’s size, population, and level of economic activity. Measuring CO2 intensity of new cars for passenger transport and new trucks for freight transport allows for more relevant historic and cross-country comparisons, by giving an understanding of how well countries are evolving their vehicle fleets to carry out the transport task, based on a physical performance parameter. It should also be noted that emissions from international air and maritime transport are important sources of global emissions, but these sources are not easily attributable to a particular country.


Opportunities for disaggregation to be reviewed.

Comments and limitations:

Transport activity is typically described by measuring vehicle kilometers (vkm) although such a measure does not allow for ready comparisons across modes or take into account varying load factors. It is also necessary to measure passenger kilometers (pkm) or ton kilometers (tkm) although these metrics require more detailed data collection.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:

Power sector A /Transport sector B

Primary data source:

Administrative data.

Potential lead agency or agencies:


  1. For example, see OECD (2008). Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies in the Transport Sector: Preliminary Report.