Higher fuel prices are associated with lower air pollution levels

Barnett, Adrian G. & Knibbs, Luke D. (2014) Higher fuel prices are associated with lower air pollution levels. Environment International, 66, pp. 88-91.

View at publisher


Air pollution is a persistent problem in urban areas, and traffic emissions are a major cause of poor air quality. Policies to curb pollution levels often involve raising the price of using private vehicles, for example, congestion charges. We were interested in whether higher fuel prices were associated with decreased air pollution levels. We examined an association between diesel and petrol prices and four traffic-related pollutants in Brisbane from 2010 to 2013. We used a regression model and examined pollution levels up to 16 days after the price change. Higher diesel prices were associated with statistically significant short-term reductions in carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Changes in petrol prices had no impact on air pollution. Raising diesel taxes in Australia could be justified as a public health measure. As raising taxes is politically unpopular, an alternative political approach would be to remove schemes that put a downward pressure on fuel prices, such as industry subsidies and shopping vouchers that give fuel discounts.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
1 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

13 since deposited on 06 Jan 2015
3 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 79719
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: air pollution, policy, fuel, vehicles, taxes, diesel, petrol, price elasticity
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.01.029
ISSN: 1873-6750
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environment International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environment International, 66, (May 2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.01.029
Deposited On: 06 Jan 2015 00:33
Last Modified: 08 May 2016 20:22

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page