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Wednesday, 06 April 2011

Transport to remain big polluter under new EU plan

Europe's transport chief called for a shift away from fossil fuels on 28 March to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the economy from oil price spikes, but critics said his strategy lacked meaningful action. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in a strategy paper that greenhouse gas emissions from transport should be cut to about a fifth below current levels by 2030, and to 60% below 1990 levels by 2050. In the long term, that means eliminating oil-fuelled motor cars from cities, shifting half of road freight onto trains and barges, and getting around 40% of aviation fuel from sustainable biofuels. The economic crisis has made the objective even more pressing, given that the EU spends around 210 billion euros a year on importing oil. "Trains, planes and ships last for decades," Kallas told reporters. "The choices made today will determine the shape of transport in 2050, and that's why we are acting now to achieve a transformation." Kallas stressed that increasing mobility and cutting emissions should be tackled at the same time. "We can and we must do both. The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true," he said. "Curbing mobility is not an option," Kallas insisted.

Source: Euractiv