Low emission vehicles, including fuel cell cars and electric scooters, took centre stage as possible methods by which Europe can achieve the ambitious target to reduce transport emissions at an event organised by the Forum for Mobility & Society (FMS) on the decarbonisation of road transport. The lunch debate, hosted by the Bavarian Representation, attracted the attention of decision-makers, industry representatives and NGOs. They discussed the current challenges to reducing CO2 emissions.
Adina Vălean, MEP and Chairwoman of the FMS, said “It is now the time to set ambitious goals for the future, without impeeding industry and keeping a technology-neutral approach.”
Artur Runge-Metzger, Director at the European Commission on climate change, announced that, following the recent Mobility Package, a new proposal focusing on post-2020 vehicle CO2 emissions will be released by the end of year.
Peter Mock, from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), pointed out that the transport sector is far away from meeting the 2030 target. Partially, this is due to the fact that heavy-duty vehicles were considered harmless until now, although, in practice, they pollute just as much as passenger vehicles. In his words, “The most cost-efficient way to decarbonise transport is to move more quickly to the electrification of vehicles.”
A panel debate followed, and included representatives from the International Transport Forum (ITF), environmental NGO Transport & Environment, spare parts supplier association CLEPA and vehicle manufacturer BMW. Views included the need tochange the mind set of consumers and encourage them to take public transport or move from car-owning to car-sharing, stong legal targets for emissions and suitable infrastructure to promote the use of low emissions vehicles.
In his concluding remarks, MEP Ismail Ertug encouraged all stakeholders but also Member States to work together and set ambitious targets to make cities more liveable.