What Impact Do EU Environmental Policies Have on Urban Transport?



What Impact Do EU Environmental Policies Have on Urban Transport?

Authors

C Cavoli, University College London, UK

Description

The paper will illustrate in more detail the influence of the EU Directive on Air Quality and the Climate and Energy Package on transport policy, planning and operation in cities in the UK, France and Spain.

Abstract

Urban transport policy is shaped by multiple factors. It can be influenced by local, regional, national or supranational actors. The role of the European Union in initiating urban transport policies is unclear and its impact little understood. Yet some EU legislation and initiatives can have a major effect on local transport policies and lead to important modifications and additions.

The percentage of national legislation originating from the EU varies greatly according to the country. In France, official sources claim that in 1992 54% of new legislation originated from Brussels, whereas some argue that in the UK only 20% of legislation (including statutes and statutory instruments) emanates from the EU. UK findings suggest that 57% of statutory instruments coming from the EU are implemented by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); this statistic indicates the strength of influence of the EU in the environmental area. In addition, this study has found that 36% of all EU legislation impacting on urban transport (directly and indirectly) emanates from the EU Directorate General for the Environment. These findings suggest that Environmental legislation is also one of the main sources of EU legislation affecting urban transport.

In the EU, urban mobility and transport is responsible for "40% of all CO2 emissions of road transport and up to 70% of other pollutants from transport? (DG Mobility and Transport). If the EU is to achieve the targets set up by the Kyoto Protocol (20-20-20) and other agreements such as Agenda 21, then urban transport policy needs to be addressed.

This study looks at the impact that European Union legislation and policies are having on urban transport policy, planning and operation in cities. The aim of the study is to find out how binding (e.g. EU Directives or Regulations) and non binding policies (e.g. Community Guidelines or Funding Programmes) initiated by different Directorate Generals (DGs) within the EU Commission are affecting transport policies at city level, specifically in the UK, France and Spain.

The study looks at three examples: the Directive on Air Quality Legislation, the EU Climate and Energy package (20-20 CO2 targets), and the urban funding programme CIVITAS. Through a combination of literature review and interviews with key stakeholders, it uses these examples to illustrate how legislation and policy filter down from the supranational level to national and sub-national levels in different countries. Using case study urban areas, it explores what specific changes the EU has influenced, such as changes in the local political agenda and concrete modifications in the city?s investments and infrastructure.

The paper will illustrate in more detail the influence of the EU Directive on Air Quality on urban transport in cities in the UK, France and Spain, and will report results from initial qualitative interviews with key actors at different levels of government in the three countries.

Publisher

Association for European Transport