CES - Discussion paper series, DPS14.17 pages:1-21
The paper challenges part of the sustainable transport literature. Sustainable transport plans often focus on reducing carbon emissions in a specific city, region or country, and this neglects two handicaps of strong unilateral action. The first is that climate is a global commons problem, so a strong binding international climate agreement is unlikely. The second is that a unilateral reduction of oil consumption may be partially, or even completely, offset by market responses – in some circumstances, cumulative emissions may even come earlier (the “green paradox”). When a coalition of the willing reduces oil use in the transport sector, this may delay rather than reduce total emissions. This requires rethinking climate policies for the transport sector: What policies remain cost effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?