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Climate policies for road transport revisited (I): Evaluation of the current framework

  • Felix Creutzig

    (Department of Economics of Climate Change, TU Berlin)

  • Emily McGlynn
  • Jan Minx
  • Ottmar Edenhofer

The global rise of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its potentially devastating consequences require a comprehensive regulatory framework for reducing emissions, including those from the transport sector. Alternative fuels and technologies have been promoted as means for reducing the carbon intensity of the transport sector. However, the overall transport policy framework in major world economies is geared towards the use of conventional fossil fuels. This paper evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of current climate policies for road transport that (1) target fuel producers and/or car manufacturers, and (2) influence use of alternative fuels and technologies. With diversifying fuel supply chains, carbon intensity of fuels and energy efficiency of vehicles cannot be regulated by a single instrument. We demonstrate that vehicles are best regulated across all fuels in terms of energy per distance. We conclude that price-based policies and a cap on total emissions are essential for alleviating rebound effects and perverse incentives of fuel efficiency standards and low carbon fuel standards. In tandem with existing policy tools, cap and price signal policies incentivize all emissions reduction options. Design and effects of cap and trade in the transport sector are investigated in the companion article (Flachsland et al., 2010).

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File URL: http://ideas.climatecon.tu-berlin.de/documents/wpaper/CLIMATECON-2010-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Climate Change Economics, TU Berlin in its series Working Papers with number 1.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision: Dec 2010
Handle: RePEc:ecc:wpaper:1
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.climatecon.tu-berlin.de/

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  1. Robert Cervero & Jin Murakami, 2010. "Effects of built environments on vehicle miles traveled: evidence from 370 US urbanized areas," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(2), pages 400-418, February.
  2. Holland, Stephen P. & Knittel, Christopher R & Hughes, Jonathan E., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt9gh5b4rv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  3. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Sperling, Dan & Yeh, Sonia, 2009. "Low Carbon Fuel Standards," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8834g64j, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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  6. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Arons, S.M. & Brandt, A.R. & Delucchi, M.A. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Kaffka, S.R, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8zm8d3wj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  7. Felix S. Creutzig & Daniel M. Kammen, 2009. "The Post-Copenhagen Roadmap Towards Sustainability: Differentiated Geographic Approaches, Integrated Over Goals," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 301-321, October.
  8. Hymel, Kent M. & Small, Kenneth A. & Dender, Kurt Van, 2010. "Induced demand and rebound effects in road transport," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1220-1241, December.
  9. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5245b5kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  10. Hertel, Thomas & Golub, Alla & Jones, Andrew & O'Hare, Michael & Plevin, Richard & Kammen, Daniel, 2009. "Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of U.S. Maize Ethanol: The Role of Market-Mediated Responses," GTAP Working Papers 3160, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  11. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
  12. Ribeiro, Suzana K & Kobayashi, Shigeki & Beuthe, Michel & Gasca, Jorge & Greene, David & Lee, David S. & Muromachi, Yasunori & Newton, Peter J. & Plotkin, Steven & Sperling, Daniel & Wit, Ron & Zhou, , 2007. "Transportation and its Infrastructure," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt98m5t1rv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  13. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6j67z9w6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  14. Danny Cullenward & Lee Schipper & Anant Sudarshan & Richard Howarth, 2011. "Psychohistory revisited: fundamental issues in forecasting climate futures," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 457-472, February.
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