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Decarbonising surface transport and the 2030 targets: What the European Commission should do

Early in summer 2016 the European Commission will present a proposal on the 2030 effort sharing decision (ESD) and a communication listing the key initiatives the EU will take to reduce road transport GHG emissions through EU measures. EU Transport and Environment Ministers are meeting in Amsterdam on 14 and 15 April to discuss smart and green transport and provide input for the Commission’s plans. This briefing summarises Transport & Environment’s key recommendations on surface transport for ministers ahead of this Informal Council meeting.

Natural gas vehicles an expensive, ineffective way to cut car and truck emissions – not a ‘bridge fuel’

Increasing the use of natural gas in cars and trucks would be largely ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, a new independent study finds. There are no GHG savings in shifting from diesel cars and trucks to compressed or liquefied natural gas (LNG) cars and trucks, while petrol-hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars deliver much greater climate benefits, the study for sustainable transport group Transport & Environment says.

Vehicle fuel efficiency standards can help EU countries halve their climate obligations from transport – study

Europe can only meet the climate targets Heads of State agreed on for sectors outside the Emissions Trading System (ETS) if it sets fuel efficiency standards for new cars, vans and lorries by 2025 or earlier, a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) reveals [1]. In a middle-of-the-road scenario where transport would cut CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 [2], the study found that CO2 standards for all vehicles (cars, vans and lorries) in 2025 and 2030 would deliver a whopping 42% of the emissions reduction required from transport. 

Can Google, Uber, BlaBlaCar and Zipcar make mobility cleaner?

Transport is not the most innovative of sectors so when the top people of Uber, Google, Nokia, Zipcar and BlaBlaCar got together at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig last week, there was an air of excitement. The picture they painted was of a radically different transport system, revolutionized by the internet, mobile phones and autonomous, electric driving. What this could mean for people was captured well by Philippe Crist from the OECD. He estimates the advent of the digital age could reduce the number of cars by an eye-popping 90% in urban areas.

Cutting transport emissions under the 2030 effort sharing decision

This paper, as well as the attached explanatory briefing, attempts to quantify the challenge for EU member states in reducing transport emissions under the expected 2030 ‘effort sharing decision’ (ESD) and the extent to which CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks can help achieve those targets. It makes very clear what the impacts are of mandating, or not, improved vehicle efficiency.

Electro-mobility and alternative fuels central to ‘energy union’ agenda

Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.

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