European policy-makers discussed almost every possible way to encourage cleaner transport in the EU at a round-table debate organised in the context of the Commission’s annual Green Week event.
With road transport and aviation among the fastest rising sources of greenhouse gas emissions, pressure is increasing on EU policy-makers to reduce the climate impact of transport.
Policy-makers meeting during the Commission’s annual Green Week round of conferences held an animated debate on how cleaner technologies for transport could be further encouraged in Europe. The debate was organised by Brussels think-tank Friends of Europe.
Cleaner transport technologies already exist. They include alternative fuels for road transport, improved fuel-efficiency for aeroplanes and vehicles as well as hybrid electric-gasoline car engines.
A number of measures have since been introduced to make transport cleaner. These include:
- the promotion of alternative fuels; and
- a directive setting general tax principles to all energy products but which grants large exemptions to fuels used in commercial road and air transportation (EURACTIV, 28 Oct. 2003)
A proposal to charge heavy trucks on European roads – the Eurovignette directive (see related LinksDossier) – was introduced in 2003 and is currently in the legislative pipeline. As its stands, the directive enables EU countries to collect an extra 15% charge that can be used to finance new alternative transport infrastructure projects such as rail or inland waterways (EURACTIV, 25 April 2005).
A wide array of technologies and measures are already at hand to ensure less CO2 is generated from cars (see EURACTIV’s LinksDossier on Green cars).
Research is also being undertaken for the longer run on breakthrough technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cell to make cars greener (EURACTIV, 18 March 2005).