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CO2-Emissionsstandards für Personenkraftwagen als Instrument der Klimapolitik im Verkehrssektor: Rationalität, Gestaltung und Wechselwirkung mit dem Emissionshandel


  • Carl-Friedrich Elmer


Light-duty vehicles are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Toward that end, most industrialized countries established fuel economy regulations or vehicle CO2-emission standards. This essay provides an overview of the adequacy of these instruments as means of climate policy. First, we will discuss potential explanations for consumers' and manufacturers' reluctance to invest in more efficient vehicles. We will distinguish between market failures that are ascribed to the institutional framework governing the vehicle purchase decision and more general sources of biases in such decisions. Afterwards, crucial factors that determine the environmental efficacy and economic efficiency of this regulatory approach are highlighted: flexibility mechanisms, uniform versus attribute-based standards, and preferential treatments for alternative fuel vehicles. Finally, noticing that vehicle emission standards are not stand alone measures, the embedding of such standards in the broader context of climate policy is explored. The observed behaviour in the vehicle market suggests the presence of market imperfections that imply distortions towards fuel economy levels lower than optimal. Supposing an efficient regulatory design, vehicle emission standards can correct these distortions and yield a re-allocation of emission abatement efforts that benefits all emitting sectors of the economy. Der Pkw-Verkehr ist einer der wesentlichen Emittenten von Treibhausgasen. Daher werden mittlerweile in nahezu allen Industrieländern die spezifischen CO2-Emissionen beziehungsweise der spezifische Kraftstoffverbrauch der Fahrzeuge reguliert. Dieser Aufsatz gibt einen Überblick über die Eignung von Emissionsstandards als Instrument der Klimapolitik. Um ihre grundsätzliche ökonomische Rationalität zu diskutieren, werden zunächst mögliche Erklärungsansätze für eine systematische Unterbewertung von Kraftstoffkosten durch die Konsumenten sowie potenzielle Hemmnisse für Investitionen in effiziente Technologien seitens der Hersteller erörtert. Anschließend erfolgt eine Bewertung der verschiedenen Ausgestaltungsoptionen von Emissionsstandards: Flexibilitätsmechanismen, attributbasierte oder einheitliche Standards, Sonderregelungen für alternative Energieträger nutzende Fahrzeuge. Abschließend werden Emissionsstandards in den klimapolitischen Gesamtkontext eingeordnet. Das auf Fahrzeugmärkten beobachtete Nachfrage- und Angebotsverhalten legt die Existenz von Marktunvollkommenheiten nahe, die bei Verzicht auf staatliche Eingriffe in Form von Emissionsstandards einen gesamtwirtschaftlich zu hohen Kraftstoffverbrauch implizieren. Bei effizienter Ausgestaltung der Regulierung kann diesen Unvollkommenheiten entgegengewirkt und eine Umverteilung der Emissionsreduktionslasten erreicht werden, von der letztlich alle Sektoren der Volkswirtschaft profitieren.

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  • Carl-Friedrich Elmer, 2010. "CO2-Emissionsstandards für Personenkraftwagen als Instrument der Klimapolitik im Verkehrssektor: Rationalität, Gestaltung und Wechselwirkung mit dem Emissionshandel," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(2), pages 160-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-2-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Transport Policy; Climate Policy; Fuel Economy Regulation; Vehicle Emission Standards;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy


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