EC Raises the Bar for Emissions Reduction Targets

| Belgium, Brussels

The European Commission this week adopted a comprehensive strategy (Transport 2050) for a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe’s dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050. Renewable natural gas for vehicles, or biomethane, is perfectly suited to meet the EC’s goals, already achieving emission reduction over conventional fuels of approximately 80%.

To achieve the EC goals will require a transformation in Europe’s current transport system. By 2050, key goals will include:

  • No more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities.
  • 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least 40% cut in shipping emissions.
  • A 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport.

The regional NGV association, NGVA Europe, supports the White Paper published on 28th March, and the push to use more alternative and clean vehicle fuels. The White Paper, the association says, not only points out the importance of CNG, LNG and biogas for medium and long distance road transport and the shipping sector (at least 40% cut in shipping emissions set as target), but more importantly acknowledges the contribution methane-powered cars will make to achieving the predominant target to have no more conventionally fueled cars in cities.

“Natural Gas and Biomethane are the real existent alternatives to oil derived fuels (diesel, petrol and LPG) today and certainly also for the next decade, so we have to make much more use of CNG and LNG and its great potential to immediately reduce GHG emissions and decarbonise transport”, NGVA Europe General Manager, Manuel Lage, said.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport said, “Transport 2050 is a roadmap for a competitive transport sector that increases mobility and cuts emissions. We can and we must do both. The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. Competitive transport systems are vital for Europe’s ability to compete in the world, for economic growth, job creation and for peoples’ everyday quality of life. Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win–win.”

NGVA Europe is calling for a clear political statement pro methane and asks for government funding to support the construction of NG/biomethane refuelling facilities. A European action plan for a minimum network of filling stations will be essential, the association says.

More detail from the strategy can be viewed at

This item compiled using information from EC and NGVA Europe press releases.

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