Study on the impact of the internalisation of external costs of road transport

Study on the impact of the internalisation of external costs of road transport

Friday, 31 July 2009

This new study carried out by the Institute for Economic Policy Research (IWW) of the University Karlsruhe (TH) in Germany and the French Nouveaux Espaces de Transport en Europe - Applications de Recherche (NESTEAR) reveals how charging trucks for their external costs could contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions from transport. Modal shift from road to rail could exceed 10% on the whole network and contribute about 7% to the required reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport. The analysis of two key transport corridors suggests that CO2 savings could be even greater on specific parts of the network.

The calculations in the study show that up to 12 million tons of CO2 emissions could be saved on the whole transport network every year, contributing about 7% to the desired reduction of transport emissions by 20% in 2020. According to the study about 60% of all land-borne traffic over distances exceeding 700 km could be carried by rail. Much of this would be combined transport for which the feeder part of the trip would be by road. The study also suggests that the road haulage industry would also benefit from an internalisation policy insofar as the logistic chains served by local trucks would enjoy improvements by better reliability and accountability of services.

The study ‘Internalisation of External Costs of Transport: Impact on Rail’ was carried out by the Institute for Economic Policy Research (IWW) of the University Karlsruhe (TH) in Germany and the French Nouveaux Espaces de Transport en Europe - Applications de Recherche (NESTEAR). It analysed the effects of internalisation according to the following scenarios: Capped (Commission proposal for Eurovignette revision), Capped+ (medium values for all external cost elements), Upper Limits (high values for the external costs), and Scenario Upper Limits/Rail Productivity (combination of full internalisation and productivity improvement). The scenarios were applied on the whole network and on the corridors Rotterdam to Genoa and Antwerp/Zeebrugge to Warsaw.