Economic and Social Impacts of Sustainable Transport



Economic and Social Impacts of Sustainable Transport

Authors

GEURS K, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands and ADAMS J, University College London, UK

Description

What will the transport system look like if transport emissions are reduced by 80%- 90% by 2030? What are the policy ins~.unents available and when will they have to be implemented to realise these sharp emission reductions? what are the economic and soci

Abstract

What will the transport system look like if transport emissions are reduced by 80%- 90% by 2030? What are the policy ins~.unents available and when will they have to be implemented to realise these sharp emission reductions? what are the economic and social consequences of such a transport system? Eight countries, Germany, Switzerland-Austria-France, Norway, Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands, have answered these questions in six pilot studies conducted in Phases 2 and 3 of the four- phase OECD project "Environmentally Sustainable Transport" (EST) 1 Furthermore, pilot studies for the Central and Eastern European countries and Japan are currently being undertaken. This paper describes the results of the EST study for the Netherlands, carried'out by the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) by order of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (see also Geurs and Van Wee, 1999).

The EST study differs from existing sustainable transport scenari 9 studies for four reasons. Firstly, very sharp emission reductions are assumed. The OECD concluded during the project preceding Phase 1 that for transportation to be sustainable, transportation should not result in exceedances of generally accepted international objectives for environmental quality, it should not reduce the integrity of ecosystems, and it should not contribute to potentially adverse global phenomena such as climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion. There are international guidelines (WHO, IPPC, UNECE, etc.) for all of these ecological targets. The OECD has defined EST as: transportation that does not endanger public health or eeo'systems and meets needs for access consistent with (a) use of renewable sources below their rates of regeneration, and (b) use of non-renewable resources at below the rates of development of renewable substitutes (OECD, 1996). The current situation is that critical levels and loads are typically exceeded by at least a factor of 2 to 5; therefore improvements of 50% to 90% will be needed to achieve acceptable risk levels. During Phase 2, the following quantitative criteria for EST were derived from the ecological targets: 50% reduction in COz emissions globally and 80% for OECD countries between 1990 and 2030 if stabilisation of CO2 emissions is to be achieved; 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and particulate matter (PM10) emissions between 1990 and 2030 if acceptable health risk levels in urban areas are to be achieved 2 (OECD, 1998).

Secondly, not only "forecasting" but also "backcasting" scenarios are constructed. For this study, backcasting meant that first, (environmental) criteria were set (see above), and second, measures were assumed to meet the criteria. In this study, one "forecasting" business-as-usual scenario and three "backcasting" scenarios were constructed: (i) a "high-technology" scenario containing only technological changes, (ii) a "capacity-constraint" scenario containing only mobility changes and (iii) a "combination" scenario, combining technological and mobility changes. This paper focuses on the combination scenario, which is referred to as the environmentally sustainable transport (EST) scenario.

Thirdly, instrument packages and implementation time paths are described which - if carded out - would result in the necessary technological and behavioural changes to realise environmentally sustainable transport.

Fourthly, the economic and social impacts of sustainable transport are assessed. The economic impacts are quantitatively assessed for the EST scenario relative to the business-as-usual scenario; describing the order of magnitude of changes of macro- economic indicators. The social impacts are qualitatively assessed for the business-as- usual and the EST scenario, describing the expected changes in social factors that are thought to be the most important and most sensitive the mobility changes envisaged.

This paper will summarise the results of the economic and social impact assessment of the business-as-usual andEST scenario for Netherlands. Section 2 shortly describes the main results of the business-as-usual and EST scenario and describes an instrument package which - if implemented - would result in the attainment of EST.

The results of this section were reported earlier (Geurs and Van Wee, 1998). Section 3 outlines the economic impact assessment, Section 4 the social impact assessment. Finally, section 5 presents the conclusions.

Publisher

Association for European Transport