Covered in this week’s Green Mobility Policy Brief: MEPs support co2 emissions reduction targets for trucks and buses; EU sees 2% reduction in GHGs; EU faces e-bike dumping challenge: trade association; US DOT and Kansas City partner on new rail & road projects.
MEPs support co2 emissions reduction targets for trucks and buses. In a move towards combating climate change and achieving the European Union’s 2050 climate neutrality goal, the Environment Committee has taken steps to strengthen CO2 emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles, including buses, trucks, and trailers. This report was adopted with 48 votes in favour, 36 against, and one abstention. The key proposal focuses on stricter CO2 emission reduction targets for medium and heavy trucks, as well as vocational vehicles, like garbage trucks and concrete mixers. The proposed targets aim for a 45% reduction by 2030-2034, 70% by 2035-2039, and 90% starting in 2040. These targets reflect an ambitious effort to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. MEPs have also called for zero-emission urban buses to be introduced by 2030, pushing for a cleaner and more sustainable urban transport system. However, member states may seek temporary exemptions until 2035 for urban buses fuelled by biomethane, provided they meet specific criteria. Rapporteur Bas Eickhout (pictured) (Greens/EFA, NL) said: “The transition towards zero-emission trucks and buses is not only key to meeting our climate targets, but also a crucial driver for cleaner air in our cities. We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a clear incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen. We’re building on the Commission’s proposal, but with more ambition. We want to expand the scope of the rules to small and medium-sized lorries and vocational vehicles – sectors which are especially important for urban air quality – and we’re adapting several targets and benchmarks to catch up with reality, as the transition is moving faster than expected.” The November 2023 plenary sitting will see MEPs adopt the report, setting the stage for negotiations with EU governments to finalize this legislation.
EU sees 2% reduction in GHGs. The European Union (EU) saw a 2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to the latest report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). While this decrease is a step in the right direction, the EU needs to intensify its efforts to fulfil its ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030. The EU’s “Fit for 55 package” laid the groundwork for climate and energy legislation, and Member States have exhibited increased ambition and commitment to reducing emissions. However, the EEA report underscores the urgency of doubling efforts to meet the challenging 2030 goals. Since 1990, the EU has managed to cut net greenhouse gas emissions, including international aviation, by an impressive 31%. The 2% reduction in 2022, despite escalating natural gas prices, was driven by substantial decreases in the buildings and industrial sectors. However, emissions from energy supply and transport saw an increase, underscoring the need to focus on these areas. Despite these positive developments, there remains a seven-percentage point gap to reach the EU’s 55% climate target for 2030. Looking beyond 2030, the report emphasizes the need for swift action in sectors like transportation, agriculture, and land-use, suggesting that the window for impactful decisions is narrowing.
EU faces e-bike dumping challenge: trade association. The electric bicycle industry in Europe finds itself at a critical juncture as the anti-dumping measures imposed on e-bike imports from China face potential renewal. LEVA-EU, a professional association representing electric bicycle businesses in Europe, has expressed growing concerns over the impact of these measures and is calling for a meeting on November 16th in Brussels to discuss the way forward. The European Commission had set a deadline for Union producers to submit requests for a review of the anti-dumping measures by October 19, 2023. However, there has been no confirmation as of yet whether the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA) has initiated this review. LEVA-EU fears that the renewal of these measures could have devastating consequences for many European companies and could, in fact, be a death sentence for some. Furthermore, the European Commission’s emphasis on the “Made in Europe” narrative and the goal to double the workforce in the “EU cycling ecosystem” by 2030 has raised concerns about the true impact of these anti-dumping measures. While they may protect a few European companies, many others are facing accusations of circumvention and fraud, putting their existence and the jobs they create in jeopardy. LEVA-EU is now urging the European Court of Auditors (ECA) to re-evaluate the impact of these trade defence measures with an objective and evidence-based approach. Additionally, the organization hopes that the European Commission conducts a thorough investigation and carefully considers whether a new five-year term for the anti-dumping measures is justified.
US DOT and Kansas City partner on new rail & road projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has forged a partnership with Kansas City, Missouri, aimed at financing and delivering a transformative array of mobility and infrastructure projects. This collaboration, termed the Emerging Projects Agreement, centres on more than $15 billion worth of projects designed to elevate mobility, safety, equity, and connectivity within the Kansas City region. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised the partnership, emphasizing the Department’s commitment to working hand-in-hand with cities to realize modern, cleaner, and safer transportation systems. The agreement promises to bolster the ambitious vision of Kansas City, including an east-west Streetcar extension aimed at connecting underserved communities with vital resources such as healthcare and employment opportunities. Under the agreement, the Build America Bureau (Bureau) and Kansas City will explore innovative approaches for project planning, procurement, financing, and delivery. This could involve low-interest rate financing mechanisms like TIFIA loans, RRIF, PABs, and technical assistance grants. The partnership aims to deliver these critical projects in sustainable and innovative ways, ensuring the continued mobility and economic well-being of the Kansas City community. Notable projects that stand to benefit from this collaboration include a 21-mile airport rail line, an East-West Streetcar extension, and efforts to reconnect historically impacted neighbourhoods and repair vital infrastructure city-wide. This partnership represents a significant step toward creating a more vibrant, connected, and equitable Kansas City, and it underscores the potential for collaborative innovation in the realm of transportation and infrastructure.