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Behavioural change to reduce transport CO2 emissions

Quickscan of the CO2 reduction potential and cost effectiveness of selected policies

Besides encouraging use of higher-efficiency vehicles and greener fuels, the government can also steer reduction of transport CO2 emissions via behavioural incentives, by encouraging people to travel less, use more sustainable forms of transport, or use their own vehicle more efficiently. In this study for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment a ‘quickscan analysis’ was used to estimate the emissions reduction potential and social cost effectiveness of 18 behaviour-related measures and the policy investment required to implement them.

Impacts were analysed in three variants. In the middle estimate the total CO2 reduction potential of the policies examined was estimated at approximately 1.5 Mt in 2020 and 2.9 Mt in 2030.

The study shows that behavioural measures can make an important contribution to achieving government climate policy targets for the transport sector. Incentives for people to use their vehicle more efficiently (such as more efficient tyres, ’Eco-Routing’ and ‘Eco-Driving’) are particularly promising in this respect.



Huib van Essen
Arno Schroten
Matthijs Otten
Maarten t Hoen

Delft, November 2014

Behavioural change to reduce transport CO2 emissions (study only available in Dutch)
Summary (English)


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