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15.12.2011

Transport policy

EP calls for binding CO2 reduction target for transport sector

The European Parliament today adopted a report outlining its position on the Commission's proposed 'Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area'. After the vote, Green transport spokesperson Michael Cramer said:

"The EP has today made clear that the transport sector must accept its share of efforts to prevent climate change. Despite the fact that transport accounts for 30% of all CO2 emissions, it has so far been largely let off the hook, with transport sector emissions increasing and undercutting emissions reductions by other sectors (1). At the initiative of the Greens, MEPs called for a stronger and swifter CO2 reduction target, highlighting that  the Commission's proposal of a 20% reduction by 2030 compared to 2008 levels is insufficient and calling instead for a 20% reduction by 2020 already, and to use 1990 as the reference year, as opposed to 2008.

"MEPs today also voted for measures to achieve the proposed reduction targets, notably calling on the Commission to set out a proposal to provide for the internalisation of the external costs of all modes of transport by 2014. This would finally put an end the competitive disadvantage faced by more environmentally-friendly modes of transport. One prime example of this is the fact that the rail sector is faced with both energy and (on international routes) valued-added tax, whereas the climate-harming aviation sector is exempted from both. This amounts to €30 billion per year in effective subsidies to airlines."

(1) Transport emissions have increased by 30% since 1990, whereas other sectors have delivered reductions (industry -34%, energy -17%, households -14%).

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Richard More O'Ferrall

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