Transportation: Challenges to Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Road Freight Traffic

  • Hans Jakob WalnumEmail author
  • Carlo Aall


We discuss the implications of rebound effects for various policies intended at curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in road freight transport. The aim is to provide an understanding of how climate policies must be designed to achieve major reductions in GHG emissions. A number of studies have been conducted on the rebound effect related to energy efficiency improvements of passenger cars; however, the findings cannot easily be translated into results for the heavy-duty vehicles used in the freight sector. From an energy economic perspective, applying econometric and general equilibrium modelling, research on rebound effects on road freight transportation has found that efficiency improvements can reduce fuel costs, increasing the cost-effective transport range of freight and the capacity for generating surplus that might be transformed into other energy consuming activities that can partly offset initial savings. This chapter discusses whether a broadening of rebound effects to also include measures of substitution (i.e. change to less polluting means of transport) and reduction (i.e. policies that aim to decrease the volume of freight transport) will lead to an increased understanding of how to achieve a major reduction in GHG emissions from freight transport.


Freight transport Rebound effects DPSIR framework 



This chapter builds on the report “Driver and response model for Norwegian road freight transport in the period 1993–2013” which the authors wrote together with John Hille (1954–2015). John passed away in September 2015 at the age of 61. He was especially competent in processing large amounts of statistical material and combining different statistical sources in novel ways—which he did to a great extent in the report and his work has been essential for writing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Norway Research InstituteSogndalNorway

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