Report: On the Route to Nowhere

Transport-related exclusion and climate policy

Failure to come up with an idea for socially responsible decarbonisation of the transportation
sector poses a threat of worsening the living conditions of those residing outside metropolitan areas and the competitiveness of those areas. It also contributes to the deepening of transport-related exclusion and poverty.
 – Authors of the On the Route to Nowhere report: Krzysztof Krawiec, Piotr Chrzanowski, Krzysztof Ruciński write.

Main conclusions
Increasingly commented on from a social perspective, the problem of transport-related exclusion
also has an environmental dimension. In the context of the challenges of climate change
and the resulting European Union climate policy, there is a risk of a “three-speed transportation
• climate-neutral large cities and metropolises in the medium term,
• moderately environmentally clean medium-sized cities and towns,
• small towns and rural areas excluded from the energy and climate transition

Residents of non-metropolitan areas with scattered development, affected by energy and
transport poverty, use vehicles that are below today’s environmental standards to meet their
mobility needs. The use of such vehicles, often imported from abroad and over 15 years old, is
usually caused not by the desire to pollute the environment or by a lack of climate sensitivity,
but by the lack of a viable alternative in the form of high-quality public transportation. Another
reason is the availability of these vehicles in terms of operating costs.

The cost of using old cars with outdated environmental performance will no longer be attractive
in the context of:
• the inclusion of the transportation sector in the European Emission Trading System (ETS),
• new emissions-related vehicle registration taxes planned for the coming years.

According to the strategic documents, the increase in the cost of transportation by privately
owned cars should be compensated by improving the offer of public transportation and making
it more attractive. However, providing it in non-metropolitan areas with scattered development
and plunged into spatial chaos is not an easy thing to do. Failure to take action in this regard
will exacerbate the phenomenon of transport-related poverty in the context of new burdens
of high-carbon individual transportation. Also, it will not reduce the scale of transport-related
exclusion understood as a social problem.