Eric Sievers: Decarbonizing Europe's Transport Sector
The EU took a strong position in the global fight against climate change at the 2015 COP21 summit in Paris by setting an ambitious target of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Now it must turn this commitment into action. Ensuring transport contributes its fair share to these emissions cuts appears to be a near-insurmountable challenge.
In Europe, transport’s oil dependency makes cars, trucks, airplanes and ships the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Road transport is a particular problem and responsible for 73% of total transport emissions, because Europe’s 290 million road vehicles are over 90% reliant on oil.
There is a wide range of low-emission transport alternatives that can alleviate oil dependence and slash emissions in road transport: everything from batteries and ethanol to more efficient engines and smarter transport systems. But how soon can these solutions be scaled up to achieve significant emissions reductions?
The transition to low-emission transport can only be achieved through cooperation among carmakers, consumers, energy companies and technology providers, as well as national and EU regulators. Binding targets to reduce the carbon intensity of road transport fuels and promote the use of renewable energy by 2030 have been set. However, the recent European Commission’s “Clean Energy Package for All” proposes a phase out of conventional biofuels — the biggest source of renewable energy currently in transport. Is the 2030 objective now unrealistic? What solutions will national governments devise to meet emission cuts?
This event will gather high-level EU and national policymakers, industry representatives, energy experts and environment groups for a frank conversation on how to rev up transport emissions reductions efforts, without wrecking European mobility and competitiveness.
Questions to be addressed at the event include:
- What transport technologies will help Europe speed up emissions reductions?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of these technologies?
- Should national governments or the private sector take the lead in the transition to low emission transport solutions?
- Can policy makers assure the contributions of low emission transport energy such as electricity and ethanol are maximized?
Which technologies offer the fastest and most cost-effective way to decarbonize road transport?
Moderated by: Joshua Posaner, Transport and Energy reporter, POLITICO
- John Cooper, Director General, FuelsEurope
- Jacques Pieraerts, Vice-President Communication, External and Environmental Affairs, Toyota Motor Europe
- Eric Sievers, Director - Investments, Ethanol Europe
- Jelena Simjanovic, Energy Director, Transport & Environment