Governments will miss EU climate goals

The EU governments’ plans to cut pollution from transport, Europe’s biggest emitter, will fail to meet their own 2030 emissions targets.

Only the Netherlands, the UK and Spain, have managed to score above 50 per cent in a ranking of draft national energy and climate plans compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E). Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is 15th, setting itself up to pay billions of euros to other countries for missing the EU’s 2030 emissions goals.

The Netherlands has pledged that no fossil fuel cars will be sold there by 2030 and to reduce overall transport emissions by 29 per cent compared to 2005 levels. The UK and Spain have similar plans to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2040, but it is estimated that the rate of change will be too late to decarbonise the vehicle fleet by 2050 unless society and manufacturers move faster than the regulation.

Carlos Calvo Ambel, trends and analysis director at T&E, said: “Right now most EU governments’ transport climate plans will see them miss the EU’s binding 2030 emissions targets. That means they could be taken to court and fined, or be forced to pay for emission reductions in other EU countries.”

The European Commission will comment on each national energy and climate plan before the end of June. Countries must submit their final plan before the end of 2019. As many member states are putting themselves on course to miss their 2030 climate targets, under EU rules they will end up buying billions of euro worth of credits from the best-performing member states.

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