Environmental Regulations and Housing Costs

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This page was processed by aws-apollo4 in 0. Skip to main content. This type of taxation can help to generate an important source of revenue for the public budget to be reinvested into clean mobility projects and infrastructure.

Regulation, on the other hand, will have an important complementary function in enabling the shift to cleaner mobility. This, in turn, will come in the form of both stick and carrot elements enacted by different levels of government, from European-, to national- and local-levels. Examples include regulations about green public procurement of public service and municipal vehicles, the tightening of fuel-economy standards, as well as the introduction of low emission zones in urban centres.

While the uptake of more efficient and alternative powertrains will be central to greening the transport system, this alone will not suffice to address congestion. In parallel, therefore, demand-reducing measures will be needed in order to foster a modal- as well as behavioural shift towards shared-, public-, and soft-mobility. A more efficient organisation of the entire mobility system will in turn rely on digitalisation, data sharing and interoperable standards. These will be instrumental for enabling smart traffic management and increasingly automated mobility in all modes, reducing congestion and increasing occupancy rates.

A critical element, which was also partially touched upon during the Forum, was the need to break away from the current paradigm as explicitly stated in White Paper which claims that a reduction in mobility volumes is not an option. As a matter of fact, curbing mobility should not only be an option, but rather must become a necessity. This study will feed into ongoing debates, both on technical and policy levels, through an update of the handbook on external costs, of the infrastructure costs and of the existing internalisation measures. While the final study is yet to be published, a clear message already now emerges, namely that transport charges and taxes today do not fully cover external and infrastructure costs, and, as a result, users are only paying for roughly half of the directly generated costs by transport [1].

As regards external costs, the study quantifies the costs arising from accidents, air pollution, climate change, noise, congestion, well-to-tank emissions, as well as habitat damage. The results show significant discrepancies across the different transport modes.

EPA Rolls Back Obama-Era Regulations on Clean Water - WSJ

In particular, road transport is found to pay back the biggest share of its total external and infrastructure-related costs. Similarly, infrastructure costs — namely those related to construction and maintenance works — vary from one mode to another, and may also be affected by external factors, such as population density and weather conditions as in the case of road maintenance for instance.

The study shows that the average infrastructure costs of passenger transport are significantly higher for rail than for road, due to the higher associated fixed costs for construction as well as the lower rate of utilisation. Another general trend that was pointed out is the overall drop in road transport infrastructure-related expenditures in the EU from 1.

Can it be implemented in a socially just manner? At the same time, it is increasingly recognised that social aspects should be an integral consideration in the design and implementation of environmental policy and tax reform, so as to maximise fairness and political viability. Government tax reforms aiming to implement it, however, are difficult to enforce given that they oftentimes result in a disproportionate burden for the working and middle classes, as recently manifested in the case of the yellow vest movement in France.

While the optimal pricing strategy might vary from one country to another, dynamic- and means-based pricing models were highlighted as offering the least regressive and particularly effective design options for limiting congestion and maximising environmental benefits. In order to mitigate possible imbalances, the generated tolling revenue is directly returned to citizens through lump-sum rebates. Even in the case of Finland, a country marked by big land masses, widely spread transport networks and low population density, it was noted that the enactment of the user pays principle in a socially just manner is possible, though internalisation techniques need to be seen as part of a more comprehensive package of regulatory measures.

Stakeholders, furthermore, underlined the need for a participatory approach to the design and implementation of internalisation measures.

This should include bringing awareness to the fact that the current transport system, dominated by private transport, is inherently socially unjust, given that it does not allow those without access to cars to enjoy the same economic and social opportunities. Conversely, a low-carbon multi-modal mobility system, marked by reliance on shared- and public-transport, can be viewed as a way of rectifying the current injustice.

The introduction of distance-based charging for infrastructure use is thus recommended across all transport modes. The experience in member countries of the EU, however, has been less smooth. Participants quoted challenges related to the enactment at national-level of CO 2 taxation in the truck industry, given that an isolated increase in fuel tax in one country could result in its goods transport sector being undercut by competitors from neighbouring countries, where no such tax has been levied. Here the need for an overarching EU framework was stressed when internalising costs while securing a level playing field.

When it comes to rail, the study suggests the introduction of noise-differentiated rail access charges to promote cleaner and quieter rail. Diverging opinions were expressed in relation to infrastructure costs coverage, in particular when it comes to clean modes with low climate and environmental externalities, such as rail. In other words, given the important societal and environmental benefits associated with rail generally, it was questioned whether full coverage of infrastructure costs should be obligatory and whether charging should instead be limited or removed altogether.

Zooming into the maritime sector, participants urged the need to consider a mix of internalisation techniques alongside other non-pricing measures. A number of pieces of legislation are pending enforcement in the course of the next few years, including the IMO sulphur cap which lowers allowable fuel sulphur content from 3. While these measures are key to boosting both air quality as well as the uptake of more fuel efficient vessels, participants highlighted the importance of creating favourable conditions for electric vessels.

To this end, existing barriers to the deployment of shore power infrastructure should be eliminated through the upcoming revision of the Electricity Taxation Directive , which in turn can enable electric and hybrid ferries and ships to plug into the electric grid when at berth, thereby shutting off their engines and reducing harmful air pollutants in coastal areas. Moreover, port dues were underlined as an essential source for port investments, including in green and innovative infrastructure.

Given the global character of the shipping industry, the need for a global approach to internalising its externalities was echoed among participants. The study, furthermore, recommends the introduction of environmentally differentiated port charges or fairway dues as an effective instrument to internalise air pollution, alongside IMO emission standards for new vessels. Similarly, for aviation, another global industry, the study recommends the introduction of environmentally differentiated airport charges and aviation taxes.

Participants largely agreed that, in order to create favourable conditions for sustainable low-carbon fuels to enter the market, an aviation tax on the basis of climate impact will have to be adopted. Currently, air passengers pay no tax on airline fuel or VAT on airline tickets. What policy measures need to be enacted at European, national and local levels to achieve the user-pays and polluter pays principles? Participants agreed that the application of the user-pays and polluter-pays principles through internalisation techniques constitutes a powerful instrument for creating demand for clean technologies, and thus an important pre-condition for incentivising more efficient transport.

It was, however, noted that the effectiveness of pricing mechanisms in achieving behavioural change may vary depending on the elasticity of demand, as well as on country-specific characteristics, such as population density. The shift towards a sustainable and multimodal transport system, it was agreed, will necessitate the enactment of a combination of push- and pull-factors at different levels of government ranging from the European, to the national- and even down to local levels.

The importance of a participatory approach to the design and implementation of fiscal and taxation policies was furthermore highlighted, so as to ensure public acceptance and social justice.

Environmental Regulations Create Higher Housing Costs

The Minister usually attaches conditions to any approval. Most projects and developments that require approval under the EPBC Act also need separate approvals under relevant state or territory legislation. Some industry groups argue that this is unnecessary duplication which in turn results in additional costs and delays for those projects. The aim is to simplify the approvals process for businesses, while maintaining high environmental standards.

The Government suggests that it will result in savings to business, by reducing administrative costs and delays. There are two types of bilateral agreements:. By December , assessment bilateral agreements were in place with all states and territories. Draft approval bilateral agreements for many states were published in —15, but none have been finalised.

The Commonwealth has released a condition-setting policy which aims to reduce duplicative conditions in projects that require both state and Commonwealth approval. They would prefer the Commonwealth retain its regulatory powers over matters of national environmental significance, particularly matters where Australia has obligations under international agreements such as world heritage.