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External cost calculator for Marco Polo freight transport proposals

  • Authors: Martijn Brons, Panayotis Christidis
  • EUR Number: 25010 EN
  • Publication date: 11/2011

Abstract

The Marco Polo programme of the European Commission aims to shift or avoid freight transport off the roads to other more environmentally friendly transport modes. The programme is implemented through yearly calls for proposals. The proposals received to each call are selected for financial support inter alia on the basis of their merits in terms of environmental and social benefits. The evaluation of each proposal's merits in terms of environmental and social benefits is based on the external costs for each transport mode.
On the Commission’s request the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRCIPTS) modified and updated the methodology underlying the calculation of external costs and the software application that automates the estimation of the impact on external costs for specific projects. The work was based on a combination of data and model results that allow the estimation of transport volumes, fleet mixes, levels of utilisation and resulting externalities with up-to-date methodologies for the economic valuation of these externalities.
The new external cost methodology and calculator covers road, rail, inland waterways and short sea shipping. External cost coefficients are provided for environmental impacts (air quality, noise, climate change) and socioeconomic impacts (accidents, congestion). The methodology permits the estimation of external cost coefficients for specific mode subcategories based on fuel technology, cruising speed, vehicle size, and cargo type.

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