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Smart Transport Emission Reductions - VTPI Special News

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    Dear Colleagues, Last week I attended the Energy Analysis Forum sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 7, 2007
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      Dear Colleagues,

      Last week I attended the Energy Analysis Forum sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ( http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/news.html ), where leading North American energy analysts discussed current thinking concerning greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies, much of which involves emission cap and trade programs ( http://www.rff.org/rff/News/Releases/2007Releases/July2007ClimateChangeBillsinCongress.cfm ). Similarly, a recent report by McKinsey, "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much At What Cost" ( http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/ccsi/greenhousegas.asp ) evaluates emission reduction strategies according to their cost effectiveness.

      Virtually all this analysis is biased against mobility management (strategies that increase transport system efficiency by improving accessibility options and applying more efficient incentives, described at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ), for the following reasons:

      * Co-benefits are ignored. Current analysis gives little consideration to benefits such congestion reduction, road and parking facility cost savings, consumer savings, reduced traffic accidents, and improved mobility for non-drivers, although these benefits are often larger in total value than emission reduction benefits. When all impacts are considered, mobility management strategies are often among the most cost effective GHG emission reduction strategies, because they are justified on economic grounds and so provide "free" environmental benefits (see http://www.vtpi.org/winwin.pdf ).

      * Current analysis generally ignores the additional external costs that result when increased vehicle fuel efficiency and subsidized alternative fuels stimulates additional vehicle travel, called a "rebound effect" (see http://www.vtpi.org/cafe.pdf and http://www.rff.org/documents/RFF-DP-04-53.pdf ).

      * Mobility management emission reductions are considered difficult to predict. Although case studies and models are available for many of these strategies (see for example, http://www.vtpi.org/tdm , www.ccap.org/trans.htm and the TRIMMS Model at http://www.nctr.usf.edu/abstracts/abs77704.htm ) this information is not widely applied to energy planning.

      * Mobility management programs are considered difficult to implement. Such programs often involve multiple stakeholders, such as regional and local governments, employers and developers, and various special interest groups. As a result, they tend to seem difficult and risky compared with other emission reduction strategies that only require changes to utility operations, fuel production or vehicle designs ( http://www.cleanairnet.org/caiasia/1412/articles-70119_paper.pdf ).

      * Analysis often assumes that vehicle travel reductions harm consumers and the economy. In fact, many mobility management strategies benefit consumers directly and increase economic productivity ( www.nctr.usf.edu/pdf/77704.pdf ). Our research indicates that with more optimal pricing and planning practices, travelers would choose to drive less, use alternative modes more, and be better off overall as a result (http://www.vtpi.org/sotpm.pdf ).


      Described differently, there are two general approaches to reducing transportation emissions: reduce emission rates per vehicle-kilometer or reduce total vehicle-travel. The first often seems easier, but if done correctly, the second provides far more benefits and so is often best overall ( http://www.vtpi.org/wwclimate.pdf ).

      Currently proposed emission reduction programs (particularly those that rely on cap-and-trade) will not implement mobility management as much as optimal, and will miss an opportunity to help address other planning objectives, such as congestion reductions, crash reductions, consumer savings and improved mobility for non-drivers. It is up to people who understand the wider value of mobility management to educate energy analysts about these issues, so mobility management can receive the support justified. 
       
      Please let me know if you have comments or questions.

      Sincerely,
      Todd Alexander Litman
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
      litman@...
      Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
      1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
      �Efficiency - Equity - Clarity�
       

    • Morten
      Todd, I agree heartily. I do not think i have seen these points been made so clearly before. It is appaling how co-benefis of better mobility solutions are
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 8, 2007
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        Todd,

        I agree heartily. I do not think i have seen these points been made so
        clearly before. It is appaling how co-benefis of better mobility
        solutions are being ignored and external costs of "greenwashing" car
        -traffic are also ignored.

        Many politicians, professionals and "activists" sympathize as well,
        but people, even in competent organisations that subscribe to the
        basic views, might have difficulties in getting those points across
        clearly and in a convincing manner. They may lack the last piece in
        the puzzle to make a convincng argument.

        Reading your text, I came to think of the climate conference in Bali.
        Will these points come through there ?

        The Global Alliance for EcoMobility, ( www.ecomobility.org ), will be
        trying to get very similar points across in Bali, but will they
        succeed in convincing delegates ?

        Do they need help, and could you or somebody with similar clout help
        them ?

        The Global Allinace for EcoMobility has ICLEI, UNEP, UN-Habitat,
        bike-manufacturers and European Cyclists' Federation and many more as
        founding partners.



        From the ECF web :
        "Climate change is on the agenda. Delegations from 190 nations are
        gathering these days in Bali to work on a "road map" for a successor
        to the Kyoto protocol. One main contributor to global warming is the
        ever increasing motorised transport sector. We therefore need a
        complete overhaul, away from cars to non-motorised transport means, in
        particular cycling. To lobby this goal, representatives from the
        public transport and walking-cycling-wheeling world have found each
        other in the "Global Alliance for EcoMobility". ECF is a founding
        father of it. Official Launch will be on December 10, 2007 in Bali."

        http://www.ecf.com/2885_1


        Best Regards,
        Morten Lange


        --- In WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com, Todd Alexander Litman
        <litman@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Dear Colleagues,
        >
        > Last week I attended the Energy Analysis Forum sponsored by the
        > National Renewable Energy Laboratory
        >
        (<http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/news.html>http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/news.html

        > ), where leading North American energy analysts discussed current
        > thinking concerning greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies,
        > much of which involves emission cap and trade programs
        >
        (http://www.rff.org/rff/News/Releases/2007Releases/July2007ClimateChangeBillsinCongress.cfm

        > ). Similarly, a recent report by McKinsey, "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse
        > Gas Emissions: How Much At What Cost"
        >
        (<http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/ccsi/greenhousegas.asp>http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/ccsi/greenhousegas.asp

        > ) evaluates emission reduction strategies according to their cost
        > effectiveness.
        >
        > Virtually all this analysis is biased against mobility management
        > (strategies that increase transport system efficiency by improving
        > accessibility options and applying more efficient incentives,
        > described at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ), for the following reasons:
        >
        > * Co-benefits are ignored. Current analysis gives little
        > consideration to benefits such congestion reduction, road and parking
        > facility cost savings, consumer savings, reduced traffic accidents,
        > and improved mobility for non-drivers, although these benefits are
        > often larger in total value than emission reduction benefits. When
        > all impacts are considered, mobility management strategies are often
        > among the most cost effective GHG emission reduction strategies,
        > because they are justified on economic grounds and so provide "free"
        > environmental benefits (see http://www.vtpi.org/winwin.pdf ).
        >
        > * Current analysis generally ignores the additional external costs
        > that result when increased vehicle fuel efficiency and subsidized
        > alternative fuels stimulates additional vehicle travel, called a
        > "rebound effect" (see http://www.vtpi.org/cafe.pdf and
        > http://www.rff.org/documents/RFF-DP-04-53.pdf ).
        >
        > * Mobility management emission reductions are considered difficult to
        > predict. Although case studies and models are available for many of
        > these strategies (see for example, http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ,
        > www.ccap.org/trans.htm and the TRIMMS Model at
        > http://www.nctr.usf.edu/abstracts/abs77704.htm ) this information is
        > not widely applied to energy planning.
        >
        > * Mobility management programs are considered difficult to implement.
        > Such programs often involve multiple stakeholders, such as regional
        > and local governments, employers and developers, and various special
        > interest groups. As a result, they tend to seem difficult and risky
        > compared with other emission reduction strategies that only require
        > changes to utility operations, fuel production or vehicle designs
        > (http://www.cleanairnet.org/caiasia/1412/articles-70119_paper.pdf ).
        >
        > * Analysis often assumes that vehicle travel reductions harm
        > consumers and the economy. In fact, many mobility management
        > strategies benefit consumers directly and increase economic
        > productivity
        > (<http://www.nctr.usf.edu/pdf/77704.pdf>www.nctr.usf.edu/pdf/77704.pdf
        > ). Our research indicates that with more optimal pricing and planning
        > practices, travelers would choose to drive less, use alternative
        > modes more, and be better off overall as a result
        > (<http://www.vtpi.org/sotpm.pdf>http://www.vtpi.org/sotpm.pdf ).
        >
        >
        > Described differently, there are two general approaches to reducing
        > transportation emissions: reduce emission rates per vehicle-kilometer
        > or reduce total vehicle-travel. The first often seems easier, but if
        > done correctly, the second provides far more benefits and so is often
        > best overall (http://www.vtpi.org/wwclimate.pdf ).
        >
        > Currently proposed emission reduction programs (particularly those
        > that rely on cap-and-trade) will not implement mobility management as
        > much as optimal, and will miss an opportunity to help address other
        > planning objectives, such as congestion reductions, crash reductions,
        > consumer savings and improved mobility for non-drivers. It is up to
        > people who understand the wider value of mobility management to
        > educate energy analysts about these issues, so mobility management
        > can receive the support justified.
        >
        > Please let me know if you have comments or questions.
        >
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Todd Alexander Litman
        > Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
        > litman@...
        > Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
        > 1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
        > "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
        >
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