This is where I wish the IPCC report could be stronger. “Co-benefits” associated with non-motorized and transit systems are mentioned in the report – including “improved access and mobility, better health and safety, greater energy security, and cost and time savings” – but because the report’s mandate is to focus on climate change, those benefits are understandably treated as peripheral to greenhouse gas reduction policies. For transport policy makers however, those co-benefits are not side-dishes – they are the meat of the argument. In my view, reducing the local costs of transport (congestion, pollution, accidents) will motivate transport change and achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions far more effectively than climate-centric policies or electric cars ever will.
Consider the case of Sao Paolo, where “traffic jams alone were estimated to cost $17.8 billion in 2012,” according to a recent World Bank story about incentive programs  that are having an impact on the commuting behavior of car owners. Or take a look at the relative costs and benefits assigned to congestion and emissions. I find the research conducted by Parry, Walls and Harrington  (2007), in the Washington, D.C. area very telling: according to them, the costs of traffic congestion are 108 cents per gallon, the health costs of local air pollution 42 cents, the road safety costs are 63 cents, while the greenhouse gas damage costs are estimated to be 6 cents per gallon (with a carbon price of $50 per ton of CO2). Fiscal incentives that take all those costs into account could create demand for public transport much faster than the price of carbon alone.
Transport strategies should start by addressing local problems for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to gain real traction. Countries that adopt safe, clean and affordable transport solutions will reap the benefit twice: in the form of easier access to jobs, better air quality  and a drop in road fatalities in the short term; and later on by being more competitive than developed countries burdened by carbon-intensive transport infrastructure for which they will continue to pay a high price.