IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

How Should Transport Emissions Be Reduced?: Potential for Emission Trading Systems

Listed author(s):
  • Charles Raux

    (National Center for Scientific Research)

In developed countries, transport generates approximately 25 to 30 per cent of emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas (GHG) and these emissions are increasing sharply. There are two explanations for the increase in emissions from transport: the first is dependency on the internal combustion engine for transport with no wide-scale economically viable alternative available in the medium term; the second is the sharp increase in vehicle-kilometres travelled, which seems to be an inherent feature of economic development. One might well ask, given announcements that oil reserves will run out rapidly, whether we should not simply wait until reserves dry up to obtain a reduction in transport-related emissions. This said, rising oil prices are gradually making it more viable to exploit unconventional reserves, leaving aside innovations in technology which are reportedly opening up prospects for new fossil fuels (including fuels derived from coal, which is in plentiful supply world-wide). Hence, there is every reason to believe that the use of fossil fuels could continue on a large scale in the future. Foresight studies show that if our aim is to achieve ambitious GHG emission control targets for transport within the next few decades, the policies we implement will have to be more determined: among other things, they should aim at reducing total consumption that is to say vehicle kilometres travelled, not just unitary vehicle consumption (cf. ENERDATA and LEPII, 2005 for France, for instance). Among the measures identified, carbon taxes and vehicle taxes are the most cost-effective (OECD, 2007; Parry et al., 2007). However, the “fuel tax protests” of September 2000 in several European countries show that public opinion is very resistant to fuel tax increases (Lyons and Chatterjee, 2002). This resistance can also be explained by concerns about fairness, since many households depend on the car for day-to-day living and for getting to work. As well as this, fuel tax increases would require the international harmonization of fuel taxation in different countries, which seeing what has happened in the European Union appears to be extremely difficult.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers with number 2008/1.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2008/1-en
Contact details of provider: Postal:
2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16

Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2008/1-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.