Policy Options for Reducing Carbon Emissions in Road Freight Transport



Policy Options for Reducing Carbon Emissions in Road Freight Transport

Authors

J Francke, J A Annema, P Wouters, KIM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, NL

Description

This paper addresses the question of what can be considered a feasible reduction aim in CO2 emissions ? by far the most common greenhouse gas produced by transport activities ? for road freight transport.

Abstract

The Inconvenient Truth has provided Al Gore the Nobel Prize and has put climate change top of the policy bill in nearly all countries of the world. The European Commission presented last January an ambiguous action plan ?20 20 by 2020: Europe's climate change opportunity? to reduce the emission of green house gasses (GHG) with at least 20% by 2020. It is said that that the common policy on transport will not be effective enough to reduced CO2 emissions from transport enough to meet the targets. The Dutch government has set a national objective of achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

This paper addresses the question of what can be considered a feasible reduction aim in CO2 emissions ? by far the most common greenhouse gas produced by transport activities ? for sectors road freight transport. The instruments the government can implement to achieve this objective are reviewed.

Proportionately applying the proposed objective to achieve a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, to the domestic activities of these sectors (domestic freight transport by road) is expected to necessitate the implementation of very expensive measures which are not cost-effective. Technical measures alone are not effective enough to achieve the 30% reduction and should be implemented in combination with other measures such as the large-scale use of what are known as second-generation biofuels, the cumulative CO2 impact and costs of which remain largely unknown.

A closer look reveals that a reduction of one billion kilograms (approx. 10%) in Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV >3,5t GVW) emissions can be achieved by 2020, with a cost effectiveness of ?100 to ? 200 per ton. At the same level of cost effectiveness, a reduction of one billion kilograms (approx. 20%) in Light Goods Vehicles (LGV <3,5t GVW) emissions seems also possible by 2020. The cost estimate does not take into account possible reductions in the amount of excise duties generated. In the Netherlands, delivery vans (LGV's) are considered to be partly passenger vehicles and partly freight transport vehicles.

Publisher

Association for European Transport