International Transport Forum Discussion Paper 2011-2
Transport figures prominently on green growth agendas. The reason is twofold. First, transport has major environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, local air emissions and noise. And managing congestion more effectively is part of the broader agenda for more sustainable development and better use of resources invested in infrastructure. Second, a large part of public expenditure to stimulate green growth is directed at transport sector industries. This concerns most notably alternative vehicles, and particularly electric cars, a key part of strategies to decarbonise transport. Several countries also financed car scrapping and replacement schemes as a short term response to the 2008 financial crisis. The primary goal here was counter-cyclical stimulus for the car manufacturing industry with, in most cases, a secondary goal of reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption through fleet renewal. Some governments also include investment in high speed rail as a central element of longer term green growth policies, aiming at a shift in passenger traffic from cars and short haul aviation to rail.