This report is part of a project addressing the need of companies to assess the external costs of goods transportation Therefore, the project aimed to develop a system for the calculation of these costs. During the start phase of the project, two questions emerged: 1. What do official documents in Europe and elsewhere say on external costs of freight transportation and 2. To what extent are external costs of freight transportation already internalized in different countries? The analysis of these questions with the help of official documents in Europe shows that there is a vivid discussion on the issue of internalising external costs of transportation. In view of the ongoing debate on climate change and all its aspects, this seems to be an important field influencing future transport decisions. However, these discussions are characterized by contradictions, lack of clarity, insecurity and the pursuit of different industry interests. It is very difficult for transport buyers and transport sellers to prepare for an internalisation of external costs. Even the approach to internalise some external costs into road transport by amending the respective EU Directive seems to have failed as of now. Outside of Europe, information could be obtained only on Australia and on the USA, in the latter case not even directly connected to the subject. The USA seems to prepare for reporting greenhouse gases, without describing which purpose results shall serve at a later stage. Australia in contrast works with the question of internalising external costs of transport but limits it for the time being to land transport (road and rail). For France and the UK, explicit research reports on the current extent of internalisation of external costs of freight transport are available, saying that especially road transport pays for its external costs to a large degree in these countries. References are made to other European countries paying either much less of their external costs today (e. g. Greece or Cyprus) or as much as the UK (e. g. Germany). However, in-depth-analyses are not available for each European country. Additional lack of clarity with regards to calculation methods, definition of system boarders for the calculation and underlying principles make it impossible to list internalisation approaches in Europe in any other way than fragmented, vague and containing a high degree for failure.
Medarbetare: Erik Fridell
Nyckelord: Environmental cost calculation, freight transport
Författare: Christina Wolf, Erik Fridell
Publicerad i: CPM, Report No. 2009:5. http://www.cpm.chalmers.se/document/reports/09/2009_5%20Environmental%20co st%20transport.pdf