Priorities, policies and (time)scales: the delivery of emissions reductions in the UK transport sector

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Abstract:

The transport sector is consistently responsible for around 30 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions in developed countries and is one of few sectors where emissions continue to increase as a result of apparently insatiable demand for road and air travel. This paper examines how the formulation of transport policy fits into the exposition of UK climate policy, focusing on three principal areas of tension: policy priority (congestion and carbon reduction); strategies to reduce emissions (technological and behavioural solutions) and timescale (short- and long-term vision). We suggest that in overcoming such tensions government ministers will need to devolve significant policy formulation and implementation powers to an appropriate scale of governance – in this case the city-region – to fashion a ‘convergence space’ capable of promoting meaningful action with regard to transport's climate impact.

Keywords: UK; behaviour change; climate policy; scale; transport policy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2007.00776.x

Affiliations: 1: The Centre for Transport Policy, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7QE 2: Centre for Sustainable Transport & School of Geography, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Email: jon.shaw@plymouth.ac.uk

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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