- If European transport policies were to be implemented as planned in 2009, traffic emissions would increase pervasively
- Infrastructure enhancements lead to increasing emissions which for some regions represent more than double
- According to the pricing scenario, the introduction of regulatory measures and transport pricing would increase traffic emissions but in turn would not affect many regions across Europe
Observations for policy
If European transport policies were to be implemented as planned in 2009, traffic emissions would increase pervasively. Similarly, infrastructure enhancements would lead to increasing emissions which, for some regions, would represent more than double. Against this background, the introduction of regulatory measures and transport pricing would increase traffic emissions but in turn would not take place in many regions.
European Union transports policies aim at improve mobility bearing in mind energy-efficiency and sustainability. However, the transport sector has the second largest greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. More than two thirds of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions come from road transport. With regard to this, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from transport are required if the European Union wants to achieve its goals in the long-term.
The map shows where the EU transport policies by 2030 will lead to increasing emissions from transport. Three scenarios of future transport policies have been developed:
- Baseline scenario for 2030 encompasses all EU transport policy investments which are carried out or already decided in 2009. Several regions are ‘flagged’ in this scenario meaning that they are expected to have an increase of transport emissions. Most of them will remain inside the limit of more than 50 per cent, including regions in Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, and the UK. Other regions such as Vilnius, Gdansk, and Inner London will go beyond this limit.
- Infrastructure scenario encompasses new infrastructure links compared to the baseline scenario. Here, the situation will change if pro-active policies and regulatory measures are taken on board to minimise consequences. This scenario indicates changes with respect to the baseline scenario, and the number of ‘flagged’ regions decreases. However, the main problems would still concern many regions in Poland and Spain, but also many capital regions such as Zagreb, Prague, Budapest, Vilnius, or Luxembourg.
- Pricing scenario encompasses new regulatory measures such as rules on safety and road pricing with respect to the baseline scenario. In this case, the number of ‘flagged’ regions reduces even more sharply underlining the effectiveness of road pricing and regulatory measures.
Concepts and methods
The model is applied to one indicator of transport policy, namely GHG emissions. Different thresholds are aopted with respect to three different scenarios about future EU transport policies. Regions are flagged if emissions are expected to exceed critical thresholds. Here, critical thresholds for emissions are defined as the absence of increases compared with the present condition. The limit is strict (but looser with respect to the Kyoto Protocol on global GHG emission reduction) and partly unfair with respect to regions with current low GHG emissions. The three levels of ‘flagging’ is coloured as follows: increase between 0 and 50 per cent (yellow), increase between 50 and 100 per cent (orange), and increase beyond 100 per cent (red).