• Gareth Davies

A Matter of Embodied Emissions. February 2021

Updated: Aug 30, 2021


Professor John Whitelegg is a Senior Fellow with the Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT). He has a long and distinguished career as an environmentalist and promoter of sustainable and transformational transport solutions.


His latest offering from the FIT concentrates on the serious matter of carbon impact of new road building. The impact relates to embodied emissions which are identified as: "Embodied emissions are the full supply chain emissions associated with the initial creation of an asset. Typically this includes emissions from: raw material acquisition, transport, processing and manufacturing of building materials; distribution of materials to site and energy used on-site in assembly. In the infrastructure sector these are commonly referred to as capital carbon emissions to accord with the concept of capital cost."


Professor Whitelegg goes on to explore the fact that little account of embodied emissions is included in the evaluation of road schemes: The lack of attention to the development of a robust evaluation methodology for the estimation of the carbon impact of road building and its c£34 billion budget is a significant failure of national transport and climate change policy and contrary to the spirit and purpose of declaring a climate emergency.


The full text can be read here . Professor Whitelegg is also Honorary President of Rail & Bus for Herefordshire

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