This conference will discuss transport decarbonisation in the context of the Eastern and Central European EU Member States, with a focus on the 2030 and long-term decarbonisation targets. We aim at discussing challenges, exchanging good practices, having an outlook to the future of transport decarbonisation and enhancing collaboration among stakeholders from like-minded countries.
Three years after Paris and over a year after agreeing a 2050 decarbonisation objective, European campaign groups Transport & Environment and Seas at Risk, leading members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, are appalled at the complete lack of ambition shown by the IMO this week.
Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of shipping should begin with mandatory speed restrictions for all commercial ships. That is the message from more than 100 maritime companies and nine NGOs, which have written to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) calling for it to regulate speed speeds.
Europe’s first greenhouse gas emissions limits for heavy vehicles are set to come into force after MEPs and EU governments completed the legislative process for a new regulation. The regulation will cut CO2 emissions from trucks by 30% by 2030, saving hauliers an estimated €60,000 per truck in the first five years through lower fuel consumption. T&E said the legislation ‘kick-starts road haulage’s shift away from fossil-fuel technology’.
Recently the gas sector has been playing up the role of or renewable gas in decarbonising the European Economy. The industry says biogas, biomethane, renewable hydrogen and renewable methane – supported through policy – can help bring about a decarbonised economy. This lobby offensive is gaining some traction, with the Romanian presidency and 17 other EU countries launching a declaration claiming gas networks are needed “to accommodate increasing shares of near-zero carbon hydrogen and renewable gases”. Amongst all that talk of “green gas”, one question beckons: have people been paying attention to the biofuels debacle at all?
T&E has joined forces with environmental NGOs in Spain to warn that a high-profile exercise in cleaning up shipping risks locking in fossil fuels for decades to come. The port of Barcelona has committed to investing in infrastructure to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to ships, and last month it celebrated the arrival of its first gas-powered cruise ship as a breakthrough for sustainable tourism. However, a T&E member described it as ‘greenwashing’.
A study claiming that electric vehicle produce more carbon emissions than a diesel car has been promptly debunked by academics and experts in Germany, where it was published last month. The Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) was roundly criticised over its findings which were founded on a relatively high weighting of coal generation in Germany’s power mix.
The UK Climate Change Committee, official advisers to the UK government, have recommended that Britain reaches net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a comprehensive report it acknowledged emissions reduction policies would need to be significantly strengthened. These include considering moving forward the current target of 100% new electric vehicle sales by 2040 forward by up to a decade.
The proposed EU law to reduce deadly blind spots for truck and bus drivers is almost approved, but it must wait for the new European Parliament before completing its legislative passage. Once approved by the 2019-24 Parliament, the law will modernise truck design to allow drivers to see more of the road, including pedestrians and cyclists, and thereby reduce road deaths and injuries.
The EU is proceeding with cartel investigations of whether German carmakers delayed the introduction of new emissions technology. Yet the European Commission looks set to propose keeping relaxed NOx limits for on-road tests of Euro 6-standard cars in response to a recent EU Court ruling. EU legislators should not accept that limits will continue to be exceeded in real-world use, as T&E’s analysis of industry data shows the technology for less polluting diesels is available. The upcoming review is a golden opportunity to improve air quality and align tests with the newest evidence.