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New fuels, new rules? Modelling policies for the uptake of low carbon vehicles within an ethical framework

Harrison, Gillian (2013) New fuels, new rules? Modelling policies for the uptake of low carbon vehicles within an ethical framework. Integrated PhD and Master thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This research recognises a conflict between climate change mitigation and a lock-in of carbon-intense lifestyles. The concern is that, in the short term, policies to aid the transition to Low Carbon Vehicles (LCVs) may bring about unacceptable impacts on those amongst the worst-off. The approach that is taken is interdisciplinary, and suggests a novel approach to policy appraisal through combining ethics with a system dynamic model. An ethical framework is established that claims coercive LCV policies are permitted due to the harms of climate change, but certain groups require protection from impacts on car ownership. This protection could be similar to policy in other sectors, such as tax exemptions for the worst-off. The framework also improves on current practise by offering a new perspective on the limitations of models in policy-making. Two model case studies examine LCV policies, focused on subsidies and market regulation of electric vehicles. The first is relatively simple and develops basic skills and understanding, but still gives policy insight and explores the sensitivity of results. A more complex second model is used to understand the policy impacts in more detail, and in relation to ethical concerns. Combining the findings of both models suggests that subsidies are only successful in reducing emissions under a failing market and although regulation is more successful it raises the cost of all vehicles, disproportionately impacting the poorest in society. Combining these policies will allow a more even distribution of burdens. From this, recommendations are made that suggest the policy-maker needs to ensure affordability, protect the vulnerable and distribute burdens. Finally, a framework for an improved approach to modelling and policy appraisal, which incorporates ethics, is proposed. Although the focus of this work is on LCVs, the fundamental approach is transferable to other areas of transport and energy use.

Item Type: Thesis (Integrated PhD and Master)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-695-0
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Chemical and Process Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2014 10:53
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2019 00:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6294

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