STEPPING OUT OF THE GREENHOUSE: WILL THE DOT'S PLANS MATCH ITS RIO COMMITMENTS?

This article discusses the British Government's programme of measures designed to reduce the emission of 'greenhouse gases' from transport by the year 2000. The Department of the Environment (DoE) has identified increased fuel efficincy of vehicles, encouraged by sustained rises in fuel taxes, as the most promising way to obtain reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. After initial rises of fuel tax, the annual increase in fuel tax has now been set at 5% per year. It is argued that fuel taxation, signalled well in advance, encourages vehicle manufacturers to develop more fuel-efficient models, and enables individuals to change their travelling habits more flexibly. It could also encourage more localised, less transport-intensive production and distribution practices. Higher fuel costs could encourage shorter shopping and leisure trips. However, many modelling exercises have suggested that the most significant influence on transport-related CO2 emissions during the next 30 years will be the allowed growth rate of traffic. Despite pressure from the DoE, the Department of Transport (DTp) is not planning for reduced travel, but instead relies on fuel efficiency and other technological improvements. The DTp still views the price mechanism as the most flexible and effective way of influencing people's travel behaviour. But there is a danger that the present measures alone will not prevent a sharp rise in CO2 emissions after the year 2000.

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  • Authors:
    • Hughes, P
  • Publication Date: 1994-1-7

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 10-11
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00665263
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 9 1994 12:00AM