The ECF’s Transport Programme aims to reduce Europe’s vehicle emissions by increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing the carbon content of fuels.
If Europe is to continue making progress in reducing its total carbon emissions, the transport sector must make an important contribution. Responsible for more than one-quarter of Europe’s energy use and CO2 emissions, the transport sector simply cannot be left out of climate planning. Even as Europe’s total emissions have fallen since 1990, CO2 emissions from transport have risen by 35%, with road transport alone accounting for some 20% of the EU’s carbon output.
The transport sector offers numerous opportunities to reduce emissions. For instance, the average fuel efficiency of cars has hardly changed in decades: a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle is barely more efficient than the 1948 model, despite the fact that the technology exists to dramatically improve vehicle performance.
Halving the average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of all cars by 2020 is well within reach. Strong EU directives on vehicle CO2 emissions that apply to all new cars sold in the EU would go a long ways toward achieving Europe’s goal for reducing emissions. Furthermore, tough European standards will have a profound global impact. More than 80 % of the world’s cars are manufactured by just 10 global companies, so advances in Europe will help push other markets toward stronger vehicle efficiency.
The team is pursuing three main initiatives: