Climate change, enhanced greenhouse gas emissions and passenger transport - What can we do to make a difference?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, land use - planning, policy - environment, organisation - management


Vehicle exhaust, TRESIS (Computer program), Transportation policy, Trade off analysis, Sydney (Australia), Simulation, Greenhouse gases, Exhaust gases, Exhaust emissions, Environmental policy, Environmental planning, Environmental management, Computer simulation, Comparison studies, Climatic changes, Climate change, Carbon dioxide, Automobile exhaust, Alternatives analysis


The transportation sector, led by the automobile, has been cited constantly as a major contributor through human intervention to climate change. Short of banning car use, the challenge remains one of understanding better what mix of actions might contribute in non-marginal ways to reducing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions and the absolute amount of carbon dioxide produced by automobiles. This paper evaluates instruments aimed at a number of policy objectives linked to efficiency, sustainability and equity, focusing on social surplus gains in addition to cost effectiveness; but in particular the ability to reduce carbon dioxide. TRESIS, an integrated transport, land use and environmental strategy impact simulation program, is used to assess the influence on carbon dioxide of a number of `at source' and `mitigation' instruments such as improvements in fuel efficiency, a carbon tax, variable user charges, and improvements in public transit. TRESIS is applied to the Sydney metropolitan area with instruments enacted in 2010 up to 2015.


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