Environmental meassures for traffic: 1 billion euro

In 2001 970 million euro was spent on measures to combat environmental pollution.

The increase in traffic and more extensive packages of measures to combat pollution have more than doubled the costs of environmental measures in the last ten years. Most of the costs, such as the purchase of catalytic converters – were borne by participants in traffic.

Environmental costs of traffic, 1990-2001


Catalytic converters for petrol engines cost just over 180 million euro in 2001. For the catalytic converter of a petrol motor to work optimally, the engine is tuned to work less efficiently than it technically can. This means it uses more fuel. In 2001 the extra fuel required cost 50 million euro.

Adapting fuels to the current environmental requirements for road traffic cost just over 140 million euro, 120 million of which was spent on the desulphurisation of diesel fuel.

Noise pollution

Measures against noise pollution cost more than 270 million euro in 2001. The government paid just over 200 million euro of this. Government measures include insulating homes around Schiphol airport, placing noise barriers and noise-reducing asphalt paving. Vehicles have also been designed to make less noise. The costs for this are allocated to the owners.

Costs of environmental measures also include costs made to prevent or clean up ground pollution by petrol stations. At the end of the nineties these measures had been taken by most petrol stations, pushing down the costs in 2001 by 50 million euro compared with the preceding years.

Roel Delahaye