Decoupling the Environmental Impacts of Transport from Economic Growth

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Transport activity continues to cause large adverse impacts on the environment, human health and the economy. But is a negative impact of transport on the environment a necessary consequence of economic growth? This book illustrates that decoupling the environmental impacts of transport from economic growth is achievable, through the efficient use of charges, fees, taxes and other economic instruments. These economic approaches can complement regulatory measures to encourage a shift towards more environmentally-friendly modes of transport, such as from road to certain forms of rail transport. Other factors which could help to decouple transport impacts from economic growth are improvements in freight transport logistics, and dematerialisation.

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National Case Studies

This chapter presents the main findings of the national case studies on decoupling from Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Sweden. In addition to these studies, two further specific approaches to decoupling are also analysed – from Switzerland (on the Swiss Heavy Goods Vehicle Fee) and from the UK (on congestion charging in London).

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