Speech to Informal Council of EU Environment Ministers by Jos Dings, executive director, Transport & EnvironmentAmsterdam, 14 April 2016Thank you Madam President for the invitation and for organising this very timely and relevant event.I represent Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group specialising in sustainable transport, with 50 member organisations in 27 countries across this beautiful continent.
On 11 April, 2016, T&E's freight and climate director William Todts spoke at the hearing on a sustainable Flemish mobility policy within the framework of the EU 2030 objectives. His recommendations focus on the following elements: Cleaner Vehicles; cleaner Fuels; and better traffic management and smarter taxation. Download the recommendations in full below.
There is broad support among EU environment ministers for new CO2 standards for trucks and strengthened CO2 standards for cars. A large number of those attending an informal council of transport and environment ministers in Amsterdam last month said the measures would be required to ensure the necessary transition towards a low and zero emission transport sector in 2050 in order to combat climate change, air pollution and ‘green’ Europe’s economy.
A consortium of car makers, oil companies and biofuels producers (the Auto Fuel Coalition) have wrongly claimed existing policies are almost sufficient to tackle transport emissions. The coalition report produced by German consultancy Roland Berger examined the measures needed to achieve CO2 reductions in the transport sector by 2030. In this briefing T&E outlines how that study makes a number of grossly incorrect assumptions that lead to hugely exaggerated estimates of the effectiveness of current rules.
Today’s claim by Shell and carmakers that current climate policies virtually complete the job of tackling transport emissions is wishful thinking, an analysis by green transport group Transport & Environment shows. The Auto Fuel Coalition of carmakers, oil companies and biofuels producers published a 2030 CO2 estimate of the effect of existing climate policies that is 20% below the European Commission’s own reference scenario.
The Effort Sharing Decision covers close to 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. It is the EU’s carbon budget for the transport, building and agriculture sectors, among other smaller sectors. It is critical that the 2030 ESD delivers real-world GHG reductions of at least 30%. However, it is equally important to transform the current ESD into an instrument that is “Paris proof”. The review of the 2030 ESD provides a unique opportunity to lay the foundation of a climate governance regime that is robust enough to accommodate the increased ambition the Paris agreement requires. This briefing discusses five new ideas to improve ESD governance.
Switzerland has voted in favour of building a second road tunnel through the Gotthard alpine mountain. In a referendum in late February, the Swiss electorate voted by 57% to 43% to approve a second road tunnel, despite it appearing to contradict the Swiss constitution that commits the country to shifting goods transport from road to rail. The vote has been widely seen as part of a political swing to the right, which has been accompanied by a weakening of public willingness to support environmental measures.
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.