Reducing the ecological intensity of provisioning systems (food, mobility, etc.) has been suggested as necessary for achieving a good life for all within the planetary boundaries. Few studies have considered the socio-ecological efficiency of such systems, however. This study therefore developed a sector-specific conceptualization of ground passenger transport as a provisioning system and defined a safe and just space for mobility. Using these frameworks, the socio-ecological performance of mobility systems of 150 countries was mapped and compared globally. The results showed that no country entered the defined safe and just space. High-income countries had high social achievement and ecological overshoot while low/middle income countries had no ecological overshoot but also low levels of social achievement. Estimating the ecological intensity of well-being, a development gap became apparent between high income countries and lower/middle income countries, but on both sides of this gap, the ecological intensity of well-being was found to worsen as GDP increased, potentially illustrating an N-shaped Kuznets curve for mobility provisioning. Our system level assessment substantiates the need to improve the socio-ecological efficiency of provisioning. We provide a brief future research agenda on the systemic, social, and political transformations potentially required to achieve it.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Provisioning systems
- Sustainable consumption
- Systems thinking
- Transport poverty