Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Tradable carbon permits : their potential to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector

By Helen Marie Harwatt


Given the severity of the impacts arising from climate change and the short timeframe available regarding mitigation, it is imperative to reduce emissions\ud of greenhouse gases. Road transport is a significant contributor to UK CO2 emissions, with the majority arising from personal road transport. A working model of a Tradable Carbon Permit (TCP) scheme was therefore designed to\ud achieve a 60% reduction of CO2 emissions from personal road transport by 2050. A proportion of the annual carbon budget would be given to individuals as a free carbon permit allocation. Following the consumption of the free\ud carbon permits, an individual must then purchase any permits required in the future from a centralised market. Alternatively, there is an opportunity to sell unused permits.\ud \ud Fuel price increases were recognised as having the potential to achieve an identical emissions target at a much lower cost. Hence, conventional elasticities were used to derive a comparative measure to the TCP scheme. A\ud range of practical considerations regarding both policies were discussed, including approximate costings, social impacts and implementation.\ud \ud An innovative survey design was developed to explore the feasibility of applying a TCP scheme and a system of fuel price increases (FPI) to the personal road transport sector. A series of individual interviews were conducted to gather opinions related to the impacts (including costs and\ud benefits), effectiveness (ability to meet the emissions target), fairness and acceptability of both measures. Bespoke software was used to record behavioural response and display respondents' travel data alongside their free\ud permit allocation and estimated spending at three points in time. A range of qualitative and quantitative results are reported. The findings revealed a stark contrast in opinions and attitudes towards the TCP scheme and FPI, with the TCP scheme being more favourable in every aspect in addition to achieving a much greater level of behavioural response and hence carbon reductions

Publisher: Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2000). 250 Available at: http: //www. hmtreasury. gov. uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics _climate_change/stern_review_report. cfm
  2. (2004). A cross-country study of fairness and infringement on freedom as determinants of car owners' acceptance of road pricing. doi
  3. (2005). A practical road user charging system for the UK. White Paper.
  4. (2006). A rough guide to individual carbon trading. Centre for sustainable energy. Report to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  5. (2005). A system of tradable CO2 permits applied to fuel consumption by motorists. doi
  6. (2003). Acceptability of road user charging: meeting the challenge. doi
  7. (2003). Acceptability of road user charging: The influence of selfish and social perspectives. In: doi
  8. (2003). Acceptability of transport pricing strategies. doi
  9. (2006). Acceptability of travel demand management measures: The importance of problem awareness, personal norm, freedom and fairness. doi
  10. (2003). Acceptability of urban transport pricing strategies. doi
  11. (2006). Active commuting in a university setting: Assessing commuting habits and potential for modal change. doi
  12. (2003). Aviation White Paper: The future of air transport. doi
  13. (2005). Car use: lust and must. Instrumental, symbolic and affective motives for car use. doi
  14. (2001). Census
  15. (2004). Commuters concern for the environment and knowledge of the effects of vehicle emissions. doi
  16. (2005). Complacent car addicts' or 'Aspiring environmentalists'? Identifying travel behaviour segments using attitude theory. doi
  17. (2000). Contraction and Convergence: the global solution to climate change. Green books,
  18. (2007). Designing an emissions trading scheme suitable for surface transport.
  19. (2000). Determinants of private car users' acceptance of road pricing. doi
  20. (2002). Determinants of travel demand-exploring the future of society and lifestyles in the UK. doi
  21. (2003). Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council doi
  22. (2002). Effects of economic disincentives on private car use.
  23. (1985). Emissions trading: An exercise in reforming pollution policy. Resources for the future, doi
  24. (2007). Energy and the common purpose. Descending the energy staircase with Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs). The lean economy connection,
  25. (2003). Environment Programme (UNEP) doi
  26. (1999). Environmental concern: Conceptual definitions, measurement methods, and research findings. doi
  27. (2005). Explaining variations in public acceptability of road pricing schemes. Journal of transport economics and policy. doi
  28. (2003). Factors influencing the acceptability and effectiveness of transport pricing. In: doi
  29. (2001). Fuel taxes and beyond: UK transport and climate change.
  30. (2007). Health/Health Protection Agency (DoH/HPA)
  31. (2006). History and social responses to environmental tax reform in the United Kingdom. doi
  32. (2004). How can we reduce Carbon emissions from transport? Tyndall Centre
  33. (2004). How we can save the planet. doi
  34. (1997). Kyoto: tradable greenhouse emission permits in the transport sector. doi
  35. (1968). Land, water, and ownership. doi
  36. (2006). Living within a carbon budget. Report for Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank,
  37. (2001). Making urban road pricing acceptable and effective: searching for quality and equity in urban mobility. Transport Policy. doi
  38. (2000). Measuring endorsement of the new ecological paradigm: A revised NEP scale. doi
  39. (2006). Miliband unveils carbon swipe-card plan. Guardian Unlimited,
  40. (2004). Modeling traveler choice behaviour using the concepts of relative utility and relative interest. doi
  41. (2005). Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) (2005) CO2 Emission Service. Available at: http: // asp
  42. (2005). National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI)
  43. (2002). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) doi
  44. (1999). Passion and heart in transport -a sociological analysis on transport behaviour. doi
  45. (2006). Personal Carbon Trading: An exploratory research and policy workshop. Workshop summary report.
  46. (2004). Preparing for emergencies. Available at www. preparingforemergencies. gov. uk/ Home Office
  47. (2004). Presented at the WCTR,
  48. (2000). Public acceptability of traffic demand management in Europe. doi
  49. (1997). Public acceptability of transport pricing. doi
  50. (2007). Public attitudes towards aviation and climate change. Available at: http: //www.
  51. (1998). Quantification of the effects of air pollution on health in the UK. doi
  52. (2002). Real world research.
  53. (1999). Research methods and statistics in psychology. Third edition. Hodder and
  54. (2007). Responses to complex pricing signals: Theory, evidence and implications for road pricing. doi
  55. (2002). Review of income and price elasticities of demand for road traffic. Centre for Transport Studies.
  56. (2000). Road pricing for congestion management: the transition from theory to policy. In:
  57. (2000). Road pricing, traffic congestion and the environment. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited,
  58. (1992). Road pricing: an international perspective. doi
  59. (1995). Road pricing: the public viewpoint. In: doi
  60. (1998). Social feasibility of policies to reduce externalities in transport. doi
  61. (2006). Society for Arts (RSA)
  62. (2006). Stern review on the economics of climate change. doi
  63. (1996). Stopping the traffic. Country Life,
  64. (2006). Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
  65. (2005). Taxing and Trading: Debating options for Carbon reduction. UK Energy Research Centre Meeting Report.
  66. (1999). The case of the UK: Sulphur permit quota switching. In: OECD
  67. (2002). The CfIT report: Public attitudes to transport in England. A survey carried out by MORI for CfIT. Available at: http: //www.
  68. (2003). The design and effects of a tradable fuel permit system. Association for European Transport. Presented at the European Transport Conference,
  69. (2004). The distributional impacts of economic instruments to limit greenhouse gas emissions from transport. PSI research discussion paper 19.
  70. (2000). The effect of fuel prices on motorists.
  71. (2004). The effect of prices and income in car travel in the UK. doi
  72. (2006). the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2006b) Climate Change: The UK Program.
  73. (2007). the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/Department for Transport (DEFRA/DfT) (2007) Consultation on the Commission's proposal to include aviation in the European Union emissions trading scheme.
  74. (2003). The impact of transport on social exclusion processes with specific emphasis on road user charging. doi
  75. (2006). The role of value orientations in evaluating quality of life consequences of a transport pricing policy. doi
  76. (1999). The social support for policy measures in passenger transport. A statistical analysis for the Netherlands. doi
  77. (2007). The Stationery Office.
  78. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. doi
  79. (2004). The use of transferable permits in transport policy. doi
  80. (2003). Tradable Fuel Permits: Towards a sustainable transport system.
  81. (1999). Tradable permits for air pollution control: the US experience. In: OECD
  82. (2007). Trade and Industry (DTI)
  83. (2002). Tradeable carbon permits auctions: How and why to auction not grandfather. doi
  84. (2005). Transport (DfT) (2006b) Transport Trends:
  85. (2007). Transport (DII) (2006c) Attitudes to climate change and the impact of transport. Available at: http: //www. dit. gov. uk/162259/162469/221412/221513/222693/AttToCCRepo rt. pdf Department for Transport (DfT)
  86. (2007). Transport and Climate Change: Supporting document to the CfIT report.
  87. (2005). Transport Statistics Great Britain: doi
  88. (2001). Travelling to work: will people move out of their cars? Transport Policy. doi
  89. (1999). U. S interest groups prefer emission trading: A new perspective.
  90. (2006). Understanding the process of adaptation to car use reduction goals. doi
  91. (2003). Urban road pricing: public and political acceptability. Ashgate Publishing Limited. Hants,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.