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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Transport and the Environment

This chapter begins with a discussion of transport’s externalities (accidents; air pollution; climate change; noise; nature, landscape and urban effects). An overview of transport externalities in Europe is presented in the second section. The chapter then focuses on recent trends in energy consumption in the transport sector together with CO2 and CO emissions.

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