Aviation and shipping set to face differing fortunes under EU Green Deal

(EurActiv, 5 Dec 2019) While planes, trains, and automobiles can expect particular attention under the EU’s upcoming Green Deal, the new Commission has already set its sights on cleaning up the transport industry – the only sector of the European economy where emissions are still growing.

Road transport dwarfs other mobility options in terms of greenhouse gas output. The European Environment Agency calculated that in 2016, the EU’s roadways contributed 72.1% of transport’s overall emissions.

Legislation on CO2 limits for cars, trucks and buses brokered under Jean-Claude Juncker’s Commission kick in early next decade, while other measures on clean vehicles, alternative fuel infrastructure and battery production are also set to move up a gear.

Those rules are not without their critics or shortcomings, however. At a EURACTIV event on greening mobility, the European Commission’s Herald Ruijters said that some pieces of legislation will not be adopted in time by the member states.

“The European Commission is putting forward clear proposals that are not then reaching the levels of commitment in co-decision that we would like,” added Ruijters, who is head of investment in innovative and sustainable transport.

That hasn’t stopped EU countries from getting started, with many deciding to take differing courses of action in order to hit energy and climate targets.

Nine countries, for example, have changed their standard petrol grade from E5 to E10, which means that it can contain up to a maximum 10% ethanol. Industry groups say it reduces carbon emissions and is compatible with most car models.

Other member states are betting big on electrification. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to ensure the Bundesrepublik has at least 1 million charging points by 2030, while established carmakers have started to switch production lines to electric vehicles.

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EurActiv, 5 Dec 2019: Aviation and shipping set to face differing fortunes under EU Green Deal