Editorial: Special issue: Environmentally Sustainable Transport
From the papers in this special issue it can be concluded that an environmentally sustainable transport system is attainable with a broad-based and concerted commitment. Environmentally sustainable transport will result in significant changes in the type of passenger and freight transport provided, but this does not lead to economic collapse. Important challenges lie in the acceptability of the goals, targets, and strategies and their component instruments.
The realisation of the 80% CO2-emission reduction target for the transport sector can be concluded to be the most ambitious one. If the CO2 emission reduction target for the transport sector is assumed to be lower, or the time period for implementing EST longer, the contribution of technological changes to attaining EST is likely to increase, thus decreasing societal impacts and increasing public support. Moreover, recent model studies indicate that global greenhouse gases can - in accordance with the EU climate objective - be effectively reduced by 20%, compared to current levels, by 2040 (i.e. a 50% decrease compared 2040 to baseline projections) through global cap-and-trade emission trading systems and carbon taxation (on average about 100 euro per tonne of CO2) (Bollen et al., 2004). These taxation levels do not strongly affect the transport sector, as other sectors may provide CO2 emission reductions at far lower costs (Van Rompuy et al, 2003).
However, it is difficult to imagine that significant reductions in climate change emissions in the post Kyoto era are attained without efforts to reduce emissions in the transport sector. The EST studies for Germany, the CEI countries and also Sweden show that encouraging environmental, societal and economic impacts can be achieved with an extension of the time period (50% emission reduction by 2030) to allow transition towards EST.
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