Bjarne Steffen

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich

Effective policy interventions to decarbonize the global road freight sector
October 24, 2022 – 05:15 – 06:30 PM (CEST)

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Seminar Abstract
Decarbonizing the trans­port sector, one of the largest carbon emitting sectors in our global economy, is crucial in meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate change goals. While in the passenger vehicle sector, battery electric vehicles are poised to corner the market, it remains unclear, which drive technologies can decarbonize the road freight sector efficiently. Besides battery electric, green hydrogen and synthetic fuel-powered vehicles are among the technological options. Currently, there is little analysis on the competition of these “green” technologies, and more specifically, how public policy can shape this competition and accelerate the decarbonization of the sector. The question of effective policy design is complicated by the fact that most potential interventions occur on the local level, but their innovation effects can spill over to other jurisdictions.  To fill this gap, we present a system dynamic model to project technology market shares by region (including North America, China, Europe), application (from small urban to large long-haul trucks) over the next 2 decades.  We find that electric vehicles experience growth in most application segments but can still be accelerated substantially through policy intervention – spillovers occur if strong policies are introduced in large regions such as China and the European Union. While public interventions are essential for the acceleration of niche technology deployment, private interventions display minimal positive spillover effects.


Speaker Bio
Bjarne Steffen is Assistant Professor of Climate Finance and Policy and the head of CFP. In his research, which is published in high impact journals, he analyzes policies related to the low-​carbon trans­ition in the energy and financial sectors. To this end, he works at the intersection of environmental/energy economics, financial economics, and innovation studies. His research covers both developed and developing countries. Current projects on developed countries address the impact of public policy on technology pathways for energy storage, and the effect of incorporating technology-​ and country-​specific cost of capital into energy system models. Current projects on developing countries address clean energy technology diffusion, and the role of multilateral development banks. 

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