This is the fifth in a series of eight snippets about how to decarbonise land freight by 2050. Based on a new T&E study, the series will culminate in a public debate in Brussels in September.
About a week ago Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, was nominated to lead the next European Commission having emerged as the compromise candidate after a lengthy European Council meeting. As this op-ed goes to press Von der Leyen, or VdL as she is now known, is busy drumming up support for her candidacy in the European Parliament. She can count on the EPP (her group - she is a member of Germany’s CDU) but will need to convince MEPs of the social democrat (S&D) and liberal (Renew) groups.
Powering Europe’s transport with fossil gas – widely known as ‘natural’ gas – would emit as much greenhouse gases as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels, a new T&E report has found. Fossil gas cars also emit as much air pollution as petrol ones and their limited advantage over new diesels that comply with the latest emissions standards could be eliminated by the planned introduction of new Euro VII/7 standards, the research shows. Yet, by taxing gas for transport at a rates much lower than petrol and diesel, European lawmakers are incentivising the use of this fossil fuel.
Secondo un nuovo rapporto, l'uso del gas fossile nei trasporti è dannoso per il clima quanto quello di benzina, del gasolio o dei carburanti navali convenzionali. La ricerca dimostra anche che bruciare gas nelle auto produce un inquinamento atmosferico uguale a quelle alimentate a benzina, mentre il limitato vantaggio rispetto alle auto diesel si elimina con le nuove norme previste. L’ONG Transport & Environment (T&E), autrice del rapporto, ha dichiarato che i legislatori devono accettare la realtà che il gas fossile non può contribuire a rendere puliti i trasporti e dovrebbe iniziare a tassarlo con aliquote analoghe a quelle applicate al gasolio e alla benzina.
The EU has agreed to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80-95% by 2050. Climate policy will require a shift away from petroleum which currently provides nearly all of transport’s energy needs. Apart from a transition towards zero-emission technologies such as battery electric or hydrogen, regulators and governments across Europe are considering what role gas could play in decarbonising transport. This report compiles the latest evidence on the environmental impacts of using gas as a transport fuel.
Using natural gas for transport is as bad for the climate as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels, a new report finds. Burning gas in cars also emits as much air pollution as petrol and the limited advantage over compliant diesel cars could be eliminated by planned new standards, the research shows. NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), which published the report, said lawmakers must accept that fossil gas cannot help clean up transport and should start taxing it at the same rate as diesel and petrol.
There are growing calls for a green tax shift to the transport sector, which would help fill a gap in the EU’s budget after the UK leaves. A T&E analysis has found new measures such as a carbon tax on motor fuels, aviation kerosene duty, and ending the VAT exemption for flights within and from Europe would raise more than €50 billion annually. And last week, as EU leaders discussed the looming gap, 17 eminent economists rowed in behind the idea, calling it a ‘once in a decade opportunity’ to create a fossil-fuel contribution to the EU budget.
Transport has taken over from power generation as the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US – and the situation is likely to get worse as the Trump administration plans to weaken emissions standards. T&E says the policy will only damage US carmakers. Transport has been the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe since 2016.
On 31 May 2017, the European Commission published its proposal to review the ‘Eurovignette’ Directive. The Directive defines how Member States of the European Union can charge vehicles for their use of road infrastructure and was conceived to ensure the proper functioning of the EU transport market. Transport accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400,000 premature deaths per year, 26,000 people die in traffic annually, and the EU economy loses €100 bn every year in congestion. This briefing outlines why road charging is a key instrument to tackle this.
Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes European Commission’s proposal today on smart road tolls and its commitment to zero-emission mobility. The Commission also reaffirmed its commitment to set stricter CO2 standards for cars, vans and, for the first time, trucks. These are moves in the right direction, but the real test of the EU’s intentions will be the ambition of the CO2 standards and whether it proposes a zero-emission vehicle mandate, the sustainable transport group said.