A study by the  Tyndall Centre for Climate Change and Teeside University, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe indicates that the EU will exhaust its share of the global carbon budget within nine years (2025+…). In order to stick to the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping global warming “well below two degrees Celsius” above pre-industrial levels, there is only a certain amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted, the so-called ‘carbon budget’. For the EU, the carbon budget for energy-only post-2017 emissions is between 23 and 32 gigatons of CO2.  According to the study, this equates to between six and nine years of current energy-only emissions, suggesting that the clock is very much ticking.

The CO2 emission reduction  the Commission proposed on November 8, 2017 in a large Clean Mobility Package, for new cars and vans will have to be 30% lower in 2030, compared to 2021. The EU Commission estimates that FCEV by 2025 could account for 0.3-0.4% of the total vehicle stock. The 820-842 refuelling stations planned under the National Policy Framework Plans of 14 MS (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK. The Danish NPF discusses hydrogen but does not set infrastructure targets. Germany, Italy and the UK include ambitious targets). are expected to accommodate the refuelling needs of 0.9-1.1 million vehicles in this scenario considering that each station serves around 1200 vehicles. In comparison, the 256 million vehicles on the roads in the EU are currently served by 115.700 conventional fuel stations.

According to the Commission the 23% cut in CO2 compared to 1990 levels in the EU while GDP grew 53% creates a firm industrial basis for the roll-out of the electrification in transport. Although not mandatory the targets were jointly announced by four commissioners:

The Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič said: “We have entered an era of climate-friendly economic transformation. Today’s set of proposals is setting the conditions for European manufacturers to lead the global energy transition rather than follow others. It will entice them to manufacture the best, cleanest and most competitive cars, hence regaining consumers’ trust. 

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: The global race to develop clean cars is on. It is irreversible. But Europe has to get its house in order to drive and lead this global shift. We need the right targets and the right incentives. With these CO2 measures for cars and vans, we are doing just that. Our targets are ambitious, cost-effective and enforceable. With the 2025 (15% less than 2021) intermediary targets, we will kick-start investments already now. 

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: “The Commission is taking unprecedented action in response to an ever growing challenge: reconciling the mobility needs of Europeans with the protection of their health and our planet. All dimensions of the challenge are being addressed. We are promoting cleaner vehicles, making alternative energy more accessible and improving the organisation of our transport system. 

Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “Our car industry is at a turning point. To maintain its global leadership, and for the sake of our environment and public health, the car industry needs to invest in new and clean technologies. We will foster market uptake of zero emission cars with seamless charging infrastructure and high-quality batteries produced in Europe.”

photo: courtesy Toyota 1000 km Fine-Comfort Ride autonomy concept car.