Biofuels, Climate Policy and the European Vehicle Fleet
by Gitiaux, X., S. Paltsev, J. Reilly and S. Rausch (August 2009)
Joint Program Report Series, 32 pages, 2009
(Superseded by Reprint 2012-2)
We examine the effect of biofuels mandates and climate policy on the European vehicle fleet, considering the prospects for diesel and gasoline vehicles. We use the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model, which is a general equilibrium model of the world economy. We expand this model by explicitly introducing current generation biofuels, by accounting for stock turnover of the vehicle fleets and by disaggregating gasoline and diesel cars. We find that biofuels mandates alone do not substantially change the share of diesel cars in the total fleet given the current structure of fuel taxes and tariffs in Europe that favors diesel vehicles. Jointly implemented changes in fiscal policy, however, can reverse the trend toward more diesel vehicles. We find that harmonizing fuel taxes reduces the welfare cost associated with renewable fuel policy and lowers the share of diesel vehicles in the total fleet to 21% by 2030 compared to 25% in 2010. We also find that eliminating tariffs on biofuel imports, which under the existing regime favor biodiesel and impede sugar ethanol imports, is welfare-enhancing and brings about further substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.
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