A cross-country comparative analysis of congestion pricing systems to achieve decarbonization goals




Veitch, Erica

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Alongside national and sub-national climate action, local governments play a particularly important role in implementing climate change mitigation policy. While substantial efforts are being taken to reduce GHG emissions in some communities, additional efforts are needed to encourage behavioural change in driving demand and mode of transit choice. Congestion pricing is a key policy which can motivate this change. Using a comparative analysis of global congestion pricing systems, this thesis examines government policy documents and academic literature to identify policy design features that are most desirable for achieving GHG and air quality emissions targets. Specifically, congestion pricing policies are evaluated against the criteria of implementation context, design characteristics, effectiveness, and political acceptability. In total, 16 congestion pricing systems across 11 cities in OECD member countries are assessed. Findings suggest that area-based congestion pricing systems can provide local governments with a relatively cost-effective tool to implement consistent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in areas with a pre-existing air quality concern. Congestion pricing policies can achieve broad acceptability with thoughtful design and implementation focusing on equity and user engagement.



congestion pricing, GHG emissions, air quality emissions, cordon, zonal, facility-based, emissions abatement