Handbook with estimates of external costs in the transport sector - February 2008
The European Commission released a handbook with estimates of external costs in the transport sector [3 MB] . The handbook, jointly prepared by several transport research institutes, summarises the state of the art as regards the valuation of external costs. The Commission intends has make use of this handbook to prepare a communication on a strategy to internalise the external costs for all modes of transport that was adopted in July 2008 and a proposal to revise the directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles.
Disclaimer: this handbook has been carried out for the Directorate-General for Energy and Transport in the European Commission and expresses the opinion of the organisation undertaking the study. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the European Commission's or the Transport and Energy DG's views.
Internalisation of external costs strategy
In 2006, the European Parliament asked the Commission to present "a generally applicable, transparent and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external costs to serve as the basis for future calculations of infrastructure charges". Furthermore, “this model shall be accompanied by an impact analysis of the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport and a strategy for a stepwise implementation of the model for all modes of transport". This request was included in the Directive on the charging of Heavy Goods Vehicles in the EU ("Eurovignette" Directive).
Work has been organised according to the following lines:
First of all , it is crucial to be able to estimate external costs. By definition, external costs are not borne by those who create them. But, in order to get an idea of the magnitude of these costs, it is important to assess their impact and to monetise it. This work has led to a Handbook on the estimation of external costs in the transport sector.
Second, a broad Internet consultation has been carried out. The objective of the consultation was to get a feedback on the general principle of internalisation and on the various policy options. The consultation ended in December 2007 and the Commission has presented its main findings at a high level stakeholder conference on 31 January 2008.
Third, the Commission services have worked on an impact assessment on the internalisation of external costs. On the basis of the IMPACT study and other sources, tests are being carried out on different options to internalise these external costs and analysing their impact on the economy, on the environment and on society at large.
- Fourth, the Commission services has prepared a Communication adpted in July 2008 (Greening transport package) which provides a general framework of reference for the internalisation of external costs in the transport sector.