Lecture  /  October 25, 2021, 14:00 – 16:00

Behavioural carbon lock-in in long-distance transport: interim findings from the LDS project

On October 25, 2021 Dr. Giulio Mattioli will be a virtual guest at Fraunhofer ISI. The lecture “Behavioural carbon lock-in in long-distance transport: interim findings from the LDS project“ will start at 14:00.


Long-distance travel accounts for a small share of trips, but a large share of mileage and GHG emissions from passenger transport. It is also a hard-to-decarbonise sector characterised by rapid growth in both travel activity and GHG. While the macro-drivers of long-distance travel growth are well understood, less is known about the ‘institutionalisation’ mechanisms that may ‘lock-in’ high levels of demand in this travel segment. The presentation provides an overview of the interim findings of the LDS research project (‘Long-Distance Society – Advancing knowledge of long-distance travel: uncovering its connections to mobility biography, migration, and daily travel’) funded by DFG (2018–2022).

The project has searched for quantitative evidence of the institutionalisation of long-distance travel within individual life courses.

Findings include:

  • the existence of an association between migration background,social network dispersion and air travel frequency, which partlyexplains higher levels of air travel emissions in large urban a reas;
  • the existence of an association between proximity to large airports and air travel emissions;
  • current generations of young adults have experienced earlierand greater socialisation to international holiday travel;
  • individuals with early socialisation to and a family backgroundof frequent international travel tend to travel more as adults.

I conclude by discussing implications for climate policy in the transport sector.


Giulio Mattioli is Research Fellow at the Department of Transport Planning, TU Dortmund University and Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds. He holds a PhD in European Urban and Local Studies from the University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy). His research interests include car dependence and carbon lock-in in the transport sector, the social drivers of long-distance travel, transport poverty, affordability and energy vulnerability, and the political economy of transport systems.