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Environmental activists are issuing a warning about the lack of effort to control the high levels of harmful emissions produced by transportation in Europe.
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Environmental activists are issuing a warning about the lack of effort to control the high levels of harmful emissions produced by transportation in Europe.

A report has discovered that if Europe does not take action to control its excessive transport emissions, the sector could be responsible for almost 50% of the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Transport emissions in Europe have increased by 26% since 1990, fueled by the use of polluting cars and the rising demand for flights, while other sectors of the economy have seen a decrease in emissions due to cleanup efforts.

T&E, a campaign group, predicts that if transportation policies remain slow in reducing emissions compared to other sectors like electricity and industry, European mobility could account for 44% of the region’s total emissions by the end of the decade. This is based on modeling data.

According to William Todts, the executive director of T&E, transportation has been a challenging issue for Europe in terms of addressing climate change. However, he notes that while transportation emissions have reached their highest point in Europe, other industries are reducing their carbon footprint at a much quicker rate.

The analysis predicted a decrease of 8% in transportation emissions by the end of the decade under current policies. However, it pointed out that older vehicles will still consume oil, shipping companies lack motivation to improve efficiency, and the growth of airports and air travel outweighs the progress made in adopting eco-friendly fuels. The report urges policymakers to take action in halting the rise in transportation demand.

Some suggestions in the report included changing taxes for company cars to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, promoting the use of efficient technologies in the shipping industry, reducing business air travel, and minimizing the construction of roads and airports.

According to Guillio Mattioli, a transportation expert from the University of Dortmund who was not part of the research, the analysis findings appear believable and the suggested policies seem reasonable.

According to him, the report brings attention to a crucial issue – the continuous increase of transport emissions, unlike emissions in other industries. This growth can be attributed to the rise in travel activity, which has overshadowed any advancements in technology.

“It is rare for this to be brought up in discussions among the public, political figures, and media outlets – and my observation suggests that the majority of people are not aware of this.”

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The findings of the report indicate that the existing measures to reduce emissions in the transportation industry will not be sufficient to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Countries have set their base year for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as 1990, and according to this, Europe is projected to see a decrease of 25% in transport emissions by 2040 and 62% by 2050.

Mattioli stated that there is a belief that the lack of decline or increase in transport emissions is not a major concern because there are advancements in other areas. However, the report presented suggests that this stance will become increasingly challenging to rationalize.

Source: theguardian.com