Oxera logo

Sustainability: more than just hot air?

With the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this month, and ever-increasing concern about the impact of human activity, it is important to have a comprehensive framework in which to assess the impact. This article suggests one such framework by considering the economic, social and environmental impacts of long-distance transport.




Depiction of Grounded? The environmental implications of modal shift from air to rail
9 minute read

Grounded? The environmental implications of modal shift from air to rail

With growing pressure on economies to decarbonise in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, transport—and particularly air transport—has come under increased scrutiny. Moving passengers from air to rail has been proposed as one way to decarbonise the sector. To this end, the EU and national governments have invested in high-speed rail lines and discussed restrictions on short-haul flights. But does rail always trump air from an environmental perspective? Read More

Depiction of Where next for RPI – X?
11 minute read

Where next for RPI – X?

With concerns around company outperformance and information asymmetries playing strongly on the minds of economic regulators, the UK regulatory model has moved on from the ‘fixed price’ paradigm of ‘RPI - X’. Regulators have looked to set more challenging price settlements, while also rebalancing risks within regulatory contracts to protect against windfalls. The model now resembles the rate-of-return approach it was intended to replace. Is this the right way forward? And what alternatives might there be? Read More