A leaked draft of the Commission’s new white paper on the future of transport says EU transport should look to reduce its emissions by ‘at least 60%’ by 2050 compared to 1990, but that almost all of these cuts would take place after 2030. The paper is expected to be published later this month, but the Commission has issued a low carbon ‘roadmap’ which says Europe must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of this decade if 2050 goals are to be achieved. T&E has welcomed the transport target, but says the plan for reaching it is insufficient because it postpones short-term action to the point where emissions reductions will ‘magically’ have to intensify after 2030.
Opinionby Nina Renshaw - T&E Deputy Director
As oil prices have risen in recent months, politicians and commentators across the EU have begun calling for all kinds of non-solutions such as lowering petrol taxes, encouraging oil states to raise production and dipping into strategic reserves. It seems once again that the most obvious strategy – using less of the black stuff – is so obvious that it is not even considered.
Spain is reducing the cost of commuter and short-distance rail tickets and has cut its motorway speed limit from 120 km/h to 110 to help people save money following the sudden rise in oil prices following the recent upheavals in the Arab world.
Europe could lose economically if it does not adopt a 30% CO2 emissions reduction target for 2020. That is the conclusion of a report for the German environment ministry which challenges traditional economic assessments of emissions reduction.
An Australian village has created an interesting way of drawing attention to the dangers of speed on the roads.
T&E letter to vice president Kallas on the transport white paper.
The Commission has published its sustainability strategy for the EU, and it includes a cautiously-worded target for transport to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% in the period 1990-2050. This is the first time Brussels has put an overall reduction target for the whole transport sector on the table.
Paris is set to become Europe’s first city to test a complete ban on high-consumption vehicles entering the city centre. The test continues a trend aimed at improving urban air quality by limiting vehicle’s access to urban centres, but the EU’s environment commissioner insists there will be no review of the national pollutant emissions ‘ceilings’ until 2013 at the earliest.
EU transport ministers were this month meeting to discuss a revision of the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) policy. The Commission has published a working document outlining options, with a suggestion that TEN-T policy focuses on a ‘core network’ of routes that would attract most of the available funding.
Two academics from California are suggesting that passenger travel may have peaked nearly 10 years ago. The two, Lee Schipper and Adam Millard-Ball, studied the demand for car ownership and general travel in eight leading economies (USA, CDN, GB , SWE, FRA, GER, JPN, AUS) between 1970 and 2008.