Low-carbon transport fuel policy for Europe post-2020

July 7, 2015

This study, commissioned by T&E from the IEEP, ICCT and TEPR, asks how can a post-2020 low-carbon transport fuel policy be designed that is effective and addresses the political pitfalls of Europe's pre-2020 policies.

To meet the EU long-term targets to reduce transport’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, action will be needed to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuels consumed, to improve the energy efficiency of transport vehicles and to improve the efficiency of the overall transport system. The EU White Paper for Transport – ‘Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ seeks to dramatically reduce Europe’s dependence on imported oil and sets the goal of cutting carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).

There is an increasing urgency to focus on decarbonising the EU transport sector. This reflects the reality that, despite policies in place to increase efficiency and reduce GHG emission growth, the transport sector has made limited progress in reducing its GHG emissions and this trend is considered likely to continue post-2020.

This paper is intended to contribute to the debate on future EU policy on low carbon transport fuels. It aims to provide an analysis of a range of policy tools and mechanisms that could be employed to deliver GHG emission reductions in this field, the strengths, opportunities and limitations they imply, and to explore the need for action and the EU’s role within this.

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