Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Stimulating the use of biofuels in the European Union : implications for climate change policy
    (University College Dublin. Department of Planning and Environmental Policy, 2004-12) ; ;
    The substitution of fossil fuels with biofuels has been proposed in the European Union (EU) as part of a strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from road transport, increase security of energy supply and support development of rural communities. In this paper, we examine this opportunity, by focusing on one of these purported benefits, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of subsidising the price difference between European biofuels and fossil fuels per tonne of CO2 emissions saved is estimated to be €174-269. Without including the benefits from increased security of energy supply and employment generation in rural areas, the current costs of implementing biofuel targets are high compared with other available CO2 mitigation strategies, including biofuel imports. The policy instrument of foregoing some or all of the excise and other duties now applicable on transport fuels in EU15, as well as the potential to import low cost alternatives, mainly from Brazil, are addressed in this context.
  • Publication
    Effectiveness of fiscal and other measures to manage greenhouse gas emissions from the automobile sector : evidence from Europe
    (University College Dublin. Department of Planning and Environmental Policy, 2006-05) ; ;
    This paper models annual new car average CO2 emissions intensity in EU Member States over the period 1995-2004. It attempts to explore the relationship, if any, between national vehicle and fuel taxes and the EU voluntary agreement in reducing CO2 emissions from the passenger car fleet. Our results indicate that (i) vehicle taxes are likely to be significant in reducing CO2 emissions intensity of passenger cars, and that (ii) the CO2 emissions intensity of EU new passenger cars has fallen over the time period studied. We hypothesise that this time trend may be attributable to the voluntary agreement.
  • Publication
    Valuing the environment using the life-satisfaction approach
    (University College Dublin. School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, 2006-05) ; ;
    This paper presents a comprehensive theoretical and methodological framework clarifying the relationship between non-market environmental valuation techniques, in particular hedonic and life-satisfaction methods. The paper shows how life satisfaction scores can be used to test correctly the equilibrium condition in location markets required by the hedonic approach and that in the absence of equilibrium, the life-satisfaction approach is still a theoretically valid valuation technique. Valuation using the life-satisfaction approach suffers from caveats associated with the cardinalisation of utility, however. Using data from Ireland, we apply this framework to the valuation of amenities linked to respondents’ dwelling areas using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Publication
    Environmental amenities and subjective well-being : testing the validity of hedonic pricing
    (University College Dublin. Planning and Environmental Policy, 2006-06) ; ;
    This paper proposes a subjective well-being approach to test the equilibrium condition implicit in hedonic pricing. Contrary to the conclusions of previous studies, we show that both approaches are not complementary but, rather, they are alternative ways of computing implicit prices of environmental amenities. They are equivalent when the equilibrium condition holds but, in the absence of such equilibrium, only the subjective well-being approach is theoretically correct. In an empirical application, we find that (i) the total impact of location-specific amenities on self-reported well-being is not fully captured through compensating differentials in labor and housing markets, indicating that implicit prices derived using the hedonic approach would be incorrect and thus suggesting caution in its application, and (ii) environmental factors are as important as the most critical socio-economic and socio-demographic factors in explaining subjective well-being.
  • Publication
    Impact of bus priority attributes on catchment area residents in Dublin, Ireland
    (Center of Urban Transport Research, 2006) ; ;
    In many jurisdictions, political and infrastructural restrictions have limited the feasibility of road pricing as a response to urban congestion. Accordingly, the allocation of dedicated road space to high frequency buses has emerged as a second-best option. Analyses of the evidence emerging from this option emphasize the engineering and technical issues and do not systematically interrogate the customers, those in the bus catchment area that use or could potentially use the service. This paper attempts to correct for this asymmetry in focus by analyzing characteristics and preferences of users and non-users through a survey of 1,000 households for a particular quality bus catchment area in Dublin, Ireland. Preliminary findings are encouraging, both for the use of this policy instrument as one which can yield considerable consumer satisfaction, and in terms of modal share analysis, especially because the corridor under scrutiny represents a much higher socio-economic profile than Dublin or Ireland as a whole.
  • Publication
    Understanding and measuring quality of life in Ireland : sustainability, happiness and well-being
    In the last decade, the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy grew at a record rate for a developed country.Nevertheless, there has been much concern regarding the implications of the pace of economic growth for localised environmental quality and life satisfaction generally. It has long been recognised by economists, psychologists and others that traditional macro-measures of national income such as GDP and GNP are inadequate measures of the performance of an economy and wider society – such measures are unable to give value to environmental and social capital and are unable to capture the performance of a country in sustainability terms. The briefing note outlines the various approaches to measuring quality of life and sustainability for Ireland specifically focusing on a modified genuine savings approach and the use of life satisfaction scores to measure well-being and individual happiness with life. The paper presents results for Ireland. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of this research for developing an evidence-base for public policy and sets out the need for investment in such research.
  • Publication
    Understanding the use of policy instruments for greenhouse gas management in Europe
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, 2006) ; ; ; ;
    A report from UCD Dublin as part of the International Collaboration Projects on Sustainable Societies for the Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, January 20, 2006.
  • Publication
    Quality of life and location-specific amenities : a subjective well-being approach
    (University College Dublin. Department of Planning and Environmental Policy, 2005-07) ; ;
    In recent years, economists have started using socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics to explain self-reported individual happiness or satisfaction with life. Using data disaggregated at the individual and regional level, this paper shows that while these variables are relevant, consideration of amenities such as climate, environmental and urban conditions, typically employed in hedonic wage and housing regressions, is critical when analysing subjective well-being. Location-specific factors are shown to have a direct impact on life satisfaction, suggesting that their effect on quality of life is not fully captured by compensating differentials in housing and labour markets.
  • Publication
    Genuine savings : leading indicator of sustainable development?
    (University of Chicago Press, 2005-04) ;
    The World Bank recently began publishing estimates of countries' “genuine savings”: a comprehensive measure of net investment across all forms of capital (natural and human as well as produced). This article presents the first empirical investigation of the consistency of the Bank's estimates with the hypothesis that net investment should equal the difference between a country's average future consumption and its current consumption. Results show that the Bank's estimates are consistent only with weak versions of this hypothesis and then only for developing countries. Moreover, a simple autoregressive-integrated-moving-average (ARIMA) model outperforms any net investment measure, comprehensive or conventional, as a predictor of the difference between current and future consumption. In sum, the Bank's net investment estimates tend to move in the same direction as the difference between current and average future consumption in developing countries, but they have little value for predicting the magnitude of this difference.
      2074Scopus© Citations 61
  • Publication
    Public attitudes towards solid waste landfill infrastructure : changes in perception over space and time
    (University College Dublin. School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, 2005-11) ; ;
    One of the most controversial planning issues internationally is the siting of waste disposal infrastructure in local communities. Compensation is viewed as a possible solution to siting difficulties in many countries. However, existing empirical evidence is conflicting as to whether or not compensation-based siting has reduced opposition to such developments. Thus, before compensation policy can be considered as the solution for recognising social costs and introducing equity into the waste planning system, it is important to understand why people reject waste disposal infrastructure developments and if this rejection continues over the lifetime of facility operations. This paper utilises information gathered through ex-ante – ex-post surveys to fully examine the effects of distance, local authority consultation efforts, experience and other factors, on attitudes towards nonhazardous solid waste landfill developments in potential and actual host communities. Our findings suggest distance proxies expectations of environmental risk in communities with no experience of living with landfill infrastructure. Conversely, distance does not play a significant role in explaining attitudes to landfill development in communities familiar with the development. Familiarity and consultation by authorities are consistently important, even after a landfill has been in operation for a number of years, but in this case these results may capture a feeling of “having served our time” prevalent in these types of communities.