Cover of Updating Environmental Externalities Unit Values
Updating Environmental Externalities Unit Values
  • Publication no: AP-T285-14
  • ISBN: 978-1-925037-97-5
  • Published: 16 December 2014

This report provides updated unit costs and price indices used to estimate environmental costs in the economic evaluation of Australian road infrastructure and transport projects.

A series of calibrated environmental costs and user guidance is provided across a range of externality types such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, soil and water pollution, biodiversity, nature and landscape, urban effects and upstream and downstream categories. These are further disaggregated according to passenger and freight transport (road and rail) in urban and rural locations. Maximum and minimum ranges are also calculated for these externalities. Detailed user information on the application of the externality values derived is also provided.

The project used revised methodologies and data sources to derive the updated estimates. The research that informed the methodology is detailed in the report.

Report Update: 7 October 2015

The authors have raised concerns that Volkswagen’s emissions violationshave the potential to alter this report’s findings and recommendations.

The research underpinning this report drew heavily on European methodology and data including the calculation of air pollution costs due to exhaust emissions. Air pollution costs consider human health effects, building and material damages, as well as crop losses and are a significant factor in the calculation of environmental costs in road transport projects.

The values in this report should not be used until the review of the report is complete and the impact is fully understood. The National Guidelines for Transport System ManagementSteering Committee recommends using the published environment parameter values as provided in Volume 3 Appendix C of the 2006 edition of the National Guidelines for Transport System Management in Australia.

  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1. Structure of the Report
  • 2. Purpose and Overview of the Project Methodology
    • 2.1. Purpose
    • 2.2. Overview of the Project Methodology
      • 2.2.1. Development of the Literature Review and Assessment Matrix
      • 2.2.2. Review of the Austroads (2003) Model
      • 2.2.3. Data from CE Delft
      • 2.2.4. Externality Values and Development of Look-up Tables
  • 3. Overview of Previous Work on Valuation of Externalities
    • 3.1. Approaches for Calculating Externalities in Australia
    • 3.2. Australian/National and New Zealand Studies Completed
    • 3.3. Australian State/Territory Externality Values
    • 3.4. International Studies
  • 4. Literature Review
    • 4.1. External Costs of Transport in Europe
      • 4.1.1. Background to the Study
      • 4.1.2. Summary of Results
      • 4.1.3. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.2. External Costs of Inter-capital Freight in Australia
      • 4.2.1. Methodology and Approach
      • 4.2.2. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.3. NZTA Economic Evaluation Manual
      • 4.3.1. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.4. A Tool for Calculating External Costs Associated with Transportation of Goods
      • 4.4.1. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.5. Towards Estimating the Social and Environmental Costs of Transportation in Canada
      • 4.5.1. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.6. ExternE: Externalities of Energy: Methodology 2005 Update
      • 4.6.1. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.7. External Costs of Transport: Update Study
      • 4.7.1. Suitability of the Study
    • 4.8. Austroads and Other Studies
      • 4.8.1. Suitability of the Studies
    • 4.9. Literature Review Results
    • 4.10. Assessment Matrix
  • 5. Methodologies for Updating Externalities Unit Values
    • 5.1. Economic Methodologies for Calculating Externalities
    • 5.2. Review of the Austroads Model
      • 5.2.1. Key Features of Austroads (2003)
      • 5.2.2. Update of the Austroads (2003) Model
    • 5.3. Purchase of CE Delft Data
    • 5.4. Methodology for Updating Externality Unit Values (as at June 2013)
      • 5.4.1. Alignment of Results
    • 5.5. Calculation of Externalities by Externality Type (as at June 2013)
      • 5.5.1. Air Pollution
      • 5.5.2. Greenhouse Gases
      • 5.5.3. Noise Pollution
      • 5.5.4. Water Pollution
      • 5.5.5. Biodiversity
      • 5.5.6. Nature and Landscape, Urban Effects, and Upstream and Downstream Costs
  • 6. Look-up Tables of Environmental Externality Costs
    • 6.1. Unit Costs for Passenger and Freight (Urban)
      • 6.1.1. Passenger Transport: Urban
      • 6.1.2. Freight Transport: Urban
    • 6.2. Unit Costs for Passenger and Freight (Rural)
      • 6.2.1. Passenger Transport: Rural
      • 6.2.2. Freight Transport: Rural
    • 6.3. Range of Values
      • 6.3.1. Minimum Values for Passenger and Freight Transport (Urban and Rural)
      • 6.3.2. Maximum Values for Passenger and Freight Transport (Urban and Rural)
  • 7. User Documentation
  • 8. Conclusions and Areas for Further Research
  • References
  • Appendix A List of Studies Identified in the Literature Review
  • Appendix B New Zealand Research Reports
  • Appendix C Literature Assessment Matrix
  • Appendix D Current Projects Using the ExternE Study
  • Appendix E Differences in June 2013 Unit Values Compared to Previous Estimates
  • E.1 Changes in estimates between this study and previous Austroads estimates
  • E.2 Changes in key assumptions between this study and previous Austroads estimates
  • E.3 Differences in approach to estimating rail externalities
  • E.4 Difference in approach for calculating minimum and maximum externality ranges