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Europe To Phase Out Fossil Fueled Cars by 2050

Posted: April 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Green Motoring | Tags: , | Comments Off on Europe To Phase Out Fossil Fueled Cars by 2050

The European Commission has released a white paper outlining an ambitious plan to transform Europe’s transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail, sea and air travel that aim to cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of “conventionally fueled” cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to entirely phasing them out of cities by 2050.

“The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility” said EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas.

Despite improvements following a 2001 White Paper on Transport, the EC says Europe’s transport system remains unsustainable. Without change, oil dependence of transport will remain around 90%, CO2 emissions from transport will remain one third higher than their 1990 level and congestion costs will increase by around 50% by 2050.

The challenge is to significantly reduce the transport system’s dependence on oil without compromising efficiency or mobility. The major goals set out in the “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area” include:

  • 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation by 2050
  • All core network airports should be connected to the rail network by 2050
  • The phasing out of conventionally-fueled cars in cities
  • A move toward zero fatalities in road transport
  • Development of eco-driving requirements
  • Creating a fully functioning multi-modal transport system
  • 40% cut in EU CO2 emissions from maritime transport by 2050.
  • All core seaports should be sufficiently connected to the rail freight
  • An overall 60% cut in transport emissions by 2050
  • Switching to cleaner public transport in cities, as well as the option of walking and cycling
  • A higher share of travel by public transport with minimum service obligations

“Weaning our transport system off its oil addiction is essential, said Friends of the Earth‘s transport campaigner, Richard Dyer. “Phasing out cars that run on fossil fuels from cities is a good way to kick-start action. But despite these headline-grabbing proposals, the emission reduction targets in the plan lack ambition. Commercial biofuels are not the answer. There’s growing concern that commercial fuel crops imported into Europe are destroying forests, driving people off their land and generating more emissions than they save. Instead we need better public transport, smarter cars that use less fuel and more walking and cycling for shorter journeys. And our planning systems must be overhauled to reduce the distances people need to travel for work or essential services.”

For further details and the other initiatives checkout the European Commission White Paper [PDF]

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