Year 2013 has been declared by the European Commission as the “Year of Air”. The right of citizens to breathe clean air has become a priority objective within the European environmental policy. In this context the environmental impact of transport is quite relevant.
Transport activities not only negatively affect the air quality, but there are also other important externalities to consider like noise, global warming, landscape impacts, flora and fauna effects, etc. According to the European Environment Agency, transport accounts for around a third of all final energy consumption and for more than a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also responsible for a large share of urban air pollution as well as noise nuisance. Furthermore, transport has a serious impact on the landscape because it divides natural areas into small patches with serious consequences for animals and plants.
The long term environmental objectives of the EU are stated in the 2011 White Paper “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area”. According to this policy paper a reduction of at least 60% of global warming gases by 2050 with respect to 1990 is required from the transport sector. To that end it is foreseen halving the use of ‘conventionally-fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030 and phase them out in cities by 2050. In addition, 50% of interurban transport should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2050. Meeting this goal will also require the development of appropriate infrastructure.
The discussions that will take place in this workshop will address several of the aforementioned issues. The workshop includes three presentations by prestigious academics within the area of environmental transport economics. Professor Stef Proost (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) will discuss the economics of local air pollution, energy supply and climate change with relation to road transport. He will analyze a wide set of instruments to deal with each of the three issues. Professor David Banister (University of Oxford) will examine the different policy solutions to address the impact on environment derived from the growth of CO2-intensive transport and mobility. Finally, Pilar Socorro (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) will discuss the implications of the European Trading System devised for the airline market on market competition. The papers will be discussed by Xavier Labandeira, Emilio Padilla and Gustavo Nombela, respectively. The workshop ends up with a round table that analyses the issue of aviation and emission trading systems. In this round table there will be representatives from the airline industry, public institutions and private firms.