EASAC report: curbing motorised transport is urgent

The European Science Academies (EASAC) at COP26 will discuss a report in which they state curbing motorised transport is an option that the EU must urgently put on the table.

According to the EASAC report, Decarbonisation of transport: options and challenges, technology alone will not do the job of drastically curbing the 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU for which transport is responsible; the missing links are strong policies to encourage not only accelerated technology shifts but also paradigm changes in behaviour.

In a joint event (Nov 12th) at the European Commission’s digital pavilion during COP26, European scientists and researchers, together with technology developers and industry pioneers, will present and discuss challenges as well as policies and regulations that could help close the gap between targets and actual transport emission trends.

The European science academies will also address the potential for reducing GHG emissions by avoiding road transport, shifting passengers and freight onto more sustainable means of transport, and improving the emissions performance of road vehicles.

The Potsdam Institute and ACEA will report on progress being achieved with the decarbonisation of road freight vehicles, and PeddleSmart will talk about the potential for using innovative vehicles to decarbonise the carrying of passengers and freight over the last mile.

Prof. George Giannopoulos, Member of EASAC’s Transport Working Group, said: “One option that policymakers must urgently put on the table is avoiding and containing the demand for motorised transport.”

William Gillett, EASAC’s Energy Programme Director, said: “European policies in the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars. But these efforts are counteracted by the ever-growing popularity of heavier cars with more powerful motors. This trend is offsetting all fuel-efficiency improvements and the effect of an increased share of electric vehicles.

“In 2020 sales of fuel-hungry SUVs grew to a whopping 42% of the global car market. Even equipping these with electric powertrains would not solve the problem: The production of bigger cars has a much heavier impact on resources, and they require significantly more battery power. We have to go for a much broader set of regulations and incentives.”

Image: Shutterstock

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