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.
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.
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.
In February 2016, the European Commission released a proposal to guarantee its gas supply security and is preparing another one to implement the EU’s 2030 climate targets for the transport, buildings and agriculture sectors. It is also developing a communication to decarbonise the road transport sector, to be announced this summer. To understand what role natural gas could have in achieving these objectives, T&E commissioned a study from Ricardo Energy & Environment to assess the impacts of large-scale use of natural gas in the transport sector.
CO2 standards for new vehicles have been proven to work and new targets should be introduced for 2025 and 2030, a report for the European Parliament’s transport committee has said. The limited quantities of available biofuels are also highlighted, while the shift to electric vehicles is ‘inevitable’.
Leaked plans by car and truckmakers to cut carbon emissions of their vehicles in Europe – by resurfacing all roads in the EU at a cost of more than €520 billion – have been criticised as an abdication of the sector’s climate responsibility. Industry body ACEA’s ‘Joining forces’ initiative calls for greater efficiencies through major investments such as in lower rolling resistance tarmac, but fails to identify new CO2 standards for vehicles.