Mixed Progress In Europe On Transport Sector Climate & Environment Goals

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A new report from the European Energy Agency (EEA) on the state of Europe’s progress to date on the achievement of climate and environmental goals relating to the transport sector has been released.

The new report/briefing, titled Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) 2017, presents the view that progress towards the achievement of the goals (policy targets and objectives) in question has been “mixed” as of late in Europe.

The goals in question relate to emissions reductions, air pollution reductions, renewable energy usage, noise reductions, and the effect of the transport sector on biodiversity and the biological environment.

Amongst the findings of the report were provisional figures for transport sector greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 (excluding the maritime shipping sector) — figures which confirm a continued upward trend in emissions since 2014; with emissions during 2016 in Europe (across the EU-28) being some 25% higher than in 1990.

The report notes that while the official carbon dioxide emissions of new passenger cars and vans in 2016 were below 2021 and 2020 targets, respectively, “considerable” further cuts would need to be made over the next few years to meet further targets. (It should be noted here that a great deal of recent research has shown that official vehicle emissions ratings in Europe are largely fantasy.)

The press release for the report provides a bit more: “While sales of new diesel passenger cars have decreased in recent years, the share of diesel used in road transport (including for freight transport by heavy-duty vehicles) has continued to rise, amounting to more than 66% of total fuel sales in road transport in 2015, compared with 51% in 2000.

“Oil consumption by the transport sector will need to fall by more than two-thirds to meet the objective of reducing consumption by 70% by 2050 compared with 2008 levels.

“The share of renewable energy in transport in the EU rose from 6.7% in 2015 to 7.1% in 2016, lower than the 10% target set for 2020. Three Member States (Austria, Finland, and Sweden) have already reached the 10% goal.”

The report also acknowledges that progress to date on the reduction of environmental noise, and on air pollution, has been very limited.

Next month, the EEA will be releasing a related report, that one focused on the aviation and shipping sectors and associated environmental impacts and goals.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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