Can high speed rail offset its embedded emissions?
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to analyze the climate benefit of investments in high speed rail-way lines given uncertainty in future transport demand, technology and power production. To capture the uncertainty of estimated parameters, distributions for the annual traffic emissions reduction required to compensate for the embedded emissions from the construction of infrastructure are calculated using Monte Carlo simulation. In order to balance the annualized emissions from the railway construction, traffic volumes of more than 10 million annual one-way trips are usually required. Most of the traffic diverted from other modes must come from aviation and the project cannot involve the extensive use of tunnels. In sparsely populated regions it may be, from a climate point of view, better to upgrade existing lines and to try to make people substitute air travel by modern telecommunications, rather than investing large amounts of resources in enabling people to travel faster and more often.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI) in its series Working papers in Transport Economics with number 2011:16.
Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 06 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Web page: http://www.kth.se/abe/om_skolan/organisation/centra/cts
High-speed rail; CO2 emissions; Embedded emissions; Infrastructure investment; Monte Carlo simulation; Sensitivity analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-12-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CMP-2011-12-13 (Computational Economics)
- NEP-ENE-2011-12-13 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2011-12-13 (Environmental Economics)
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- Grimaldi, Raffaele & Beria, Paolo, 2013. "Open issues in the practice of cost benefit analysis of transport projects," MPRA Paper 53766, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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