Transportation of goods is one of the most important sectors of global economy. Every day thousands of cargo ships, airplanes and trucks deliver goods in all parts of the world. The sector contributes e.g. about 20% to the total CO2 emissions. And this is one of the main reasons for the rise of temperature and the global climate change which threaten the existence of many ecosystems.Therefore it has direct and indirect effects on biodiversity loss.
Tools and software for managers analyze e.g. the carbon footprint inside their supply chains. But there’s no clear way how to calculate biodiversity impact* of this economic sector, especially because it have indirect effects on biodiversity. But even if it's difficult to calculate transport sector impacts on biodiversity, it is still part of the problem.
A national biodiversity tax on transportation.
The unit to refer to can be the carbon footprint** of logistic companies.
The revenue of the tax shall be bound to biodiversity and reinvested in projects to protect, re-establish or minimize damages to biodiversity.
For example, in Switzerland there is already a transportation tax to finance the infrastructure (based on tonnes kilometre). Such a tax could be extended with a biodiversity component.
This approach needs methods to evaluate the damage to biodiversity caused by transportation and an assessment of any measures and costs to avoid damages or to compensate damages to biodiversity.
A group of experts coming from different disciplines should be created by the government for the:
- Evaluation of biodiversity and biodiversity damages attributable to transportation;
- Evaluation of measures to minimize, avoid or compensate damages including cost estimates;
- Calculation of the total costs on country level;
- Evaluation of the type of taxed unit and of technical solution of implementation.
This idea was developed with the great help of dr. Hubertus Schmidtke.
*The biodiversity footprint of UK Foreign Direct Investment: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/pub09_biodiversityfootprint.pdf
* Product Biodiversity Footprint: http://www.productbiodiversityfootprint.com/