Sustainable transport - will it ever really count?

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  • Will it Ever Really Count? Prof Greg Marsden Institute for Transport Studies
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Transportation
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Transportation National Economic System Global Market Urban System Telecommunications System Energy/Power System Water and Sewage System Transportation System Land Use Institutional Structure Infrastructure System System Users/ Stakeholders Transportation Modes Intermodal Connections Transit Network Highway Network Non-motorized Network Airway Network Source: Adapted from Meyer and Miller (2001, p. 91). Collectors LocalArterials
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Transportation Physical Systems Production Consumption Waste Raw Materials Solar Energy Heat Recycled Materials ECOSYSTEM Other … Energy Transportation Communication Industrial Source: Adapted from Daly (1991)
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Transportation “There can be no sustainable development without sustainable transportation. It is an essential component not only because transportation is a prerequisite to development in general but also because transportation, especially our use of motorized vehicles, contributes substantially to a wide range of environmental problems, including energy waste, global warming, degradation of air and water, noise, ecosystem loss and fragmentation, and desecration of the landscape. Our nation’s environmental quality will be sustainable only if we pursue transportation in a sustainable way” (Benfield and Replogle 2002, p. 647).
  • Example Impacts Economic Environmental Social • Costs of transport to customers/consumers •Time loss in traffic/ Congestion • Costs relating to accidents •Transportation facility construction, maintenance and disposal costs •Transportation-related health costs •Depletion of non-renewable resources and energy supplies • Air pollution • Noise pollution • Vibration • Light pollution • Visual intrusion • Water pollution • Consumption of land/urban sprawl • Release of toxic/hazardous substances • Solid waste • Disruption of ecosystems and habitats • Hydrologic impacts • Introduction of exotic species • Depletion of the ozone layer • Global climate change • Mobility • Accessibility • Accidents • Obesity • Barriers for the disadvantaged •Inequalities associated with impacts • Community livability • Gender imbalances • Cohesion/integration • Opportunity • Anxiety/’Rootlessness’ • Migration Source: Gudmundsson and Cornet
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Transportation • a critical component of a broader economic system which supports business and social development; • an open system, which requires natural and man-made inputs and produces outputs which impact on the environment; • part of a social system that shapes and is shaped by that social system, including other policy areas; • comprised of a series of physical sub-systems with a range of physical and operational components and which are organized through formal and informal conventions; and • fragmented series of partly connected yet partly competing sub-systems with complex and varying governance arrangements.
  • Sustainable Transportation Where to make it count? POLICY LEVEL ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL PROJECT LEVEL Source: Gudmundsson and Cornet
  • European Transport White Paper Policy Level • Overarching Aim to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050
  • Remembering Context
  • Remembering Context
  • Economic Impacts Assessed Impact Areas Indicators Economic Impacts Transport Activity Passenger kilometers and tonne kilometers by all modes. Modal Shift Share of passenger or tonne kilometers by mode. Transport costs to users Unit cost per passenger or tonne transported (including capital costs, fixed operation costs and variable fuel and non-fuel costs). Economic growth Qualitative inference of policy impacts on GDP only. Efficiency of the transport system Not defined but incorporates notions of smart pricing, efficient networks, fuel efficiency and vehicle purchase costs. Congestion Average speed and use of available road capacity. Household costs The share of passenger transport costs within the household income of the average EU household. Transport related sectors Not defined but qualitative inference of the potential of the strategies to support the European vehicle manufacturing industry. Innovation and research Not defined but qualitative inference about the impact of the strategy on research spend on green innovation. Reduction of administrative burden Not defined but qualitative inference about overall levels of administration. EU budget Not defined as will be assessed on a case by case basis. International relations Not defined but qualitative inference about the potential synergies and conflicts with international organizations.
  • Social Impacts Assessed Impact Areas Indicators Social Impacts Degree of mobility Refers to the % change in total transport activity for passengers with an overall reduction being negative. Choice Not defined but qualitative inferences about rail investments improving choice. Accessibility Potential accessibility is a generalized cost based measure. Larger areas are more attractive and cost, time and distance are negative separation factors. Distributional Impacts Not clearly defined although the analysis refers in part to the distribution of household costs by income band. Employment level and conditions Number of jobs in the transport sector. Skills and working conditions are not defined clearly. Safety External costs of accidents and total number of accidents.
  • Environmental Impacts Assessed Impact Areas Indicators Environmental Impacts Climate Change Total CO2 emissions from transport. Both transport and well to wheel analyses are presented. Air pollution Emissions of NOx and PM10 and external costs of these pollutants. Noise pollution External costs of noise pollution. Energy use/energy efficiency Total energy demand from transport Millions of Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (reviewed in detail below). Energy intensity is an efficiency indicator that uses total energy demand and transport activity to create a ratio for passenger and freight. Renewable energy use Total energy demand split by fossil fuels, biofuels and electricity. Biodiversity Not defined but qualitatively refers to fragmentation, land-take, loss of biodiversity and damage to eco-system services.
  • European Transport White Paper -200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200 CO2 intensity Energy intensity Activity level Total Urban Interurban Intercontinental -44% -40% -74% Passenger transport 33% 31% 120% -22% -19% 51% M to n C O 2 0%-11% -10% Review of Do-Minimum Case Factors Influencing CO2 emissions
  • European Transport White Paper Policy Option 2 Policy Option 3 Policy Option 4 Economic Impacts Transport Activity -- = - Modal Shift ++ = + Transport costs to users --- = -- Economic growth ++ + +++ Efficiency of the transport system ++ + +++ Congestion ++ = + Household costs -- - -- Transport related sectors + +++ +++ Innovation and research + +++ ++ Reduction of administrative burden + = + EU budget = = = International relations -- - - Social Impacts Degree of mobility --- = - Choice ++ = ++ Accessibility ++ = ++ Distributional Impacts = - + Employment level and conditions ++ ++ +++ Safety ++ = + Environmental Impacts Climate Change +++ +++ +++ Air pollution +++ ++ ++ Noise pollution +++ ++ +
  • European Transport White Paper • Largest Scale attempt for Sustainable Transport Assessment • Significant improvement in transparency • Informs policy package choice (coherence with longer-term goals) • Positive role as a signal
  • European Transport White Paper • Modelling systems not robust • Indicators are so aggregate as to lose meaning • Social context is flattened • Does not really reach out beyond transport • Implementation is largely national – Is this joined up? • Only limited signs that constraints are to play a part • “Curbing Mobility is not an option” – Weak sustainability
  • High Speed Rail • Decision taken in same way as other infrastructure projects • Bespoke Sustainability Appraisal also commissioned Phase 1 Phase 2 Rolling Stock Total Target Cost 17.16 n/a Estimated Cost 15.65 12.5 5.8 33.95 Contingency 5.75 8.7 1.7 16.15 Total 21.4 21.2 7.5 50.1 Source: Environmental Audit Committee
  • Towards documents about sustainable transportation (2007, 2008) Indicators Greenhouse Gas Emissions CO2 emissions by end user (industry, transport, domestic, other) Aviation and shipping emissions Private Vehicles: CO2 emissions, car-km, and final household expenditure Road Freight: CO2 emissions, tonne-km, tonnes, and GDP Road Transport Emissions NOx, PM10, CO2 emissions, and GDP Emissions of air pollutants Air Quality and Health Ecological impacts of air pollution Mobility Getting to school Accessibility
  • What is HS2 for? • Never been articulated as part of a sustainable transport strategy • 2009 SoS Transport Geoff Hoon announced creation of HS2 Limited in a statement to Parliament about expansion of Heathrow • 2 years previously, the Rail White Paper had said: • “Higher speed is not the only or best way of cutting journey times. Nor is it without cost. Increasing the maximum speed of a train from 200 km/h to 350 km/h means a 90 per cent increase in energy consumption. In exchange, it cuts station-to-station journey time by less than 25 per cent and door-to-door journey-time by even less. … The argument that high-speed rail travel is a ‘green option’ does not stand up to close inspection on the basis of the present electricity generation mix.” (DfT, 2007b, p. 62).
  • What is HS2 for? • The remit of HS2 Limited was subsequently clarified to focus, in order of priority on: • Passenger capacity: “this is the driving consideration, including capacity released on classic lines”; • Speed; • Land use and development objectives and the support of new housing development; and • Developing the line to be capable of handling freight for greater network resilience. • Modal shift from air to rail was “not expected to be a key objective for HS2” (Rowlands, 2009).
  • Sustainability Appraisal Source: Geisler et al. (2011)
  • Sustainability Appraisal Key Sustainability Issue Objective Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change Climatic factors and adaptability  Improve resilience of the rail network against extreme weather events Greenhouse Gases  Contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating modal shift from road and air to rail  Reduce relative contribution made by rail to greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficient technologies Natural and cultural resource protection and environmental enhancement Landscape and townscape  Maintain and enhance existing landscape character  Maintain and enhance existing townscape character • 18 sustainability issues • 33 objectives as shown in Table • 33 objectives => 66 evaluation criteria
  • Sustainability Appraisal HS2 Objectives and Option identification process Option Generation Scheme Components London Terminus Line of Route Etc. Sift 1 90+ long list options Review of Operations, Cost Demand and Engineering HS2 Board Decision Point 1 Sift 2 50+ intermediate list options Appraisal including simplified Appraisal of Sustainability HS2 Board Decision Point 2 Sift 3 Shortlist of stations and whole routes Appraisal including full Appraisal of Sustainability HS2 Board Decision Point 3 Finalising preferred scheme and main alternatives
  • Likely Impact of Proposed HS2 Likely change between the current baseline and future baseline Cumulative Impacts Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change resilience of the rail network + 0 + greenhouse gas emissions +/- + + Natural and cultural resource protection and environmental enhancement landscape character -- - -- townscape character 0 0 0 archeological assets - 0 - historic buildings - - - historic landscapes - - - biodiversity - - - surface water resources - 0 - groundwater resources - - - capacity of flood plains - - -- Creating sustainable communities local air quality U + + local noise environment -- - -- local vibration environment - 0 0 community integrity 0 - 0 pedestrian access 0 + + access to public transport + + ++ public transport interchange + + ++ mental well-being 0 0 0 physical health 0 + + health inequalities 0 0 0 road traffic accidents 0 0 0 crime and fear of crime 0 0 0 economic competitiveness ++ U ++ wider economic growth and employment ++ U ++ employment ++ U ++ Support planned development - ++ ++ Regeneration + ++ ++ Sustainable consumption and production land resources - - - brownfield sites + + + waste protection - + + primary material resources - - -
  • Reflections on HS2 Case • Comprehensive coverage of indicators • Influential in changing route and route design • Transparency in categories that win and lose • No clear policy framework • No sense of fit to broader sustainability goals • Not commissioned to ask if it was worth doing
  • Conclusions – It is counting • Significant increase in evidence base • Greater transparency in decision-making processes • Pathways least consistent with direction of sustainable development avoided • Possible to deploy to make specific projects meet more of goals (see also GreenLITES)
  • Conclusions – But not enough • As yet no consistent policy position on green growth • No evidence of limits being a strong influence on pathways • Compromises are fudged in +++ -- overarching summaries • Worrying lack of joining up across spatial scales (EU- National, National-Local) • Modal siloes continue to exist and limit integration (absent in particular national strategy) • Cross-sectoral decision-making even further removed
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