This is T&E's report on why Europe’s obsession with diesel cars is bad for its economy, its drivers and the environment.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
A study by the respected Öko-Institut in Germany says Europe needs to slash its transport emissions by 94% by 2050. That's what it takes to avoid catastrophic 2 degree warming. Meanwhile, EU governments – particularly Italy and Poland – are trying to destroy the already inadequate target of -30% by 2030.
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.
Aviation is already a major and growing emitter. In Europe its emissions have doubled since 1990, and globally they could, without action, double or treble by 2050. The sector will have a substantial fuel demand well into the 2030s, 2040s and beyond, the period when our economy needs to increasingly decarbonise. This report puts forward measures to limit that fuel requirement, but ultimately the remaining and substantial fuel demand will need to have its carbon content eliminated. The process of cutting and then decarbonising that fuel demand is the focus of this report.
The 2050 strategy being developed by the European Commission for the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) is of key importance to the future of European climate policy. The strategy's central aim is to guide European climate policy towards adhering to the Paris climate agreement, ie how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy to limit global temperature rises to well below 2ºC. In this paper T&E describes the model and reports on some of its technical limitations and proposes measures to ensure robust, trustworthy modelling.
T&E has obtained letters from six EU countries informing the UN aviation agency ICAO that they may pull out out of a global carbon offsetting scheme for aircraft emissions if its environmental safeguards are weakened any further. In separate letters, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Finland and Norway state that if sustainability rules governing the use of offsets and alternative fuels are watered down any more in negotiations, they will reconsider their participation. The letters are available to download here. T&E has also seen documents that suggest six other EU countries have similarly told ICAO that they will pull out of the scheme, known as CORSIA.
As the rule book for the Paris Agreement is finalised, T&E produces a paper which proposes the full inclusion of emissions from international shipping and aviation in national climate targets, known under the Paris Agreement as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). States should pursue decarbonisation of these sectors through a combination of measures adopted at international and national level.
New mobility services and business models are changing urban transport, affecting both the supply and demand sides of urban mobility market. Evidence shows that these developments can lead to a significant reduction of single occupancy private car use and an increase of public transport use, leading to a strong reduction in congestion, local air pollution, and CO2 emissions. Despite their long term potential, the growth and development of new mobility services are often hampered by existing market access restrictions, operational requirements and financial disincentives. This joint position paper outlines the key recommendations from 10 organisations engaged in promoting new mobility. They are: BMW Group, car2go, European Cyclists' Federation, Mobility Nation, nextbike, Siemens, Transport & Environment, Uber, and the City of Vilnius.