Even if full use is made of all the available technical options, in the next forty years there will be scarcely any decline in European transport CO2 emissions relative to 1990 levels. Although cleaner engines, electric vehicles and biofuels will all help reduce emissions, these efforts will be rendered virtually ineffective by the projected growth of the fleet itself.
Reducing the carbon emissions of passenger and freight transport is proving to be one of toughest challenges of European climate policy. While the emissions of industry, power generation and agriculture are already declining, thanks to energy efficiency measures and a tightening of legislation, among other things, transport forecasts indicate an enormous further rise in mobility over the coming decades, with attendant spiralling CO2 emissions.
Against this backdrop the European Commission commissioned a consortium, including CE Delft, to review and crunch the numbers of all the available policy options, in a drive to ensure the transport sector does not thwart the EU’s long-term ambition to cut CO2 emissions by 80-95% by the year 2050.
The study was conducted at the request of the European Commission, DG Climate Action (until last year, DG Environment). The research team was led by AEA and also comprised CE Delft, ISIS, Milieu and TNO.