The European Commission plans a sustainable transport system

Publish date: April 14, 2011

On 28 March the Commission published its plan ”Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system”. The plan highlights ambitious goals in several policy areas.

When implemented, the plan is set out reduce green house gas emissions from the transport sector with 60 % from 1990 levels by 2050, and 20 % from 2008 levels by 2030. The goals are divided in three categories:

– Developing and deploying new and sustainable fuels and propulsion systems

– Optimising the performance of multimodal logistic chains, including by making greater use of energy efficient modes.

– Increasing the efficiency of transport and of infrastructure use with information systems and market-based incentives.

Phase out conventional fuel
The roadmap sets out several concrete targets for reduction. The use of “conventionally-fuelled” cars in urban areas is to be halved by 2030 in cities, and phased out in cities by 2050. Major city centres are to be essentially CO2 free by 2030. In aviation, 40% of fuels shall be made by sustainable low-carbon substances by 2050, and in maritime transport CO2- emissions from bunker fuels shall be reduces by 40 % in 2050.

Read the whole paper

The Commission proposes some 25 policy measures, designed to help implement these goals. Road pricing, fuel taxation and research and innovation are among these. The paper also contains measures to change behaviours, including a possible extension of CO2 labelling to light commercial vehicles.

The commission also plans to introduce a single EU road charging system for lorries in coming years. This is a sensitive issue because member states have set up different technologies and companies have invested significant amounts of money to use them, according to ENDS Europe.

No cuts now

The plan has been criticised from several organisations, because the implementation of most measures are postponed to later. The 2030 goal of a 20% cut in emissions is based on cuts from recent levels, but it fails even to cancel out a rise of about a third since 1990, which was mainly caused by increasing car ownership and cheaper flights. Compared to the 1990 baseline, which the EU uses for nearly all its other measurements of emissions, Kallas’ target actually amounts to an 8% increase.

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