Transport is now the first single source of emissions in Europe

Swift action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by transport in line with the COP21 Paris Agreement reached last year, panellists told a Friends of Europe Café Crossfire event on 21 June. While the EU has a good record on reducing emissions in sectors such as power, road transport is the only major sector where they have risen continually since 1990.

Hopes for cleaner transport have been raised by the emergence of alternative fuels, such as biofuels, and hybrid and electric vehicles. However, increasing their market uptake requires continued and stable political support, as well as the kind of infrastructure that exists for conventional vehicles.

The European Commission plans to address transport emissions beyond 2020 in a Communication to be released in July 2016. It will follow a technology-neutral approach and will foresee measures and standards in three areas: fuel efficiency, alternative fuels and intelligent mobility.

“We are facing a challenge to see a reduction of emissions in the transport sector – but it is also an opportunity,” said Alexandre Paquot, Head of the Road Transport Unit in the Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action. The communication is likely to stress the opportunities for the EU economy in terms of jobs and growth, he said.

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