Transport News

Green Mobility Policy Briefing – April 22 2022

Covered in this week’s Green Mobility Policy Briefing: UK Government awards £2 million to innovative transport proposals; Ireland: Minister of State Naughton announces over €16 million in capital funding for Regional Airports; Australia: Western Sydney to run trial of zero emission buses; Denmark announces a new plan to replace gas; EU announces €1 billion Green Deal to protect the ocean; New TEN-T Regulation is key for Europe’s sustainability and smart mobility; T&E publishes report on maritime supply chain and berth emissions; and, California proposes to accelerate mandate for zero-emission vehicle sales.

UK Government Awards £2 million to generate innovative transport solutions. 51 projects have been awarded a share of funding as part of the DfT’s Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme, representing the largest annual number of projects backed since the programme’s inception. In partnership with Connected Places Catapult, the programme provides a mechanism that supports research and innovation in transport that may otherwise have been shunned by traditional funding routes. So far, organisations who have delivered successful TRIG projects have secured more than £25m in follow-on investment, testifying to the programme’s role in unearthing sustainable transport solutions. The latest round called for greener and more efficient transport solutions within four key thematic areas: maritime decarbonisation, the future of freight, the COVID-19 recovery, and transport resilience. One University of Cambridge led project received funding to develop a novel, low-cost, rear-steering system, called Brake-Actuated Steering, for high-capacity vehicles. Greater manoeuvrability in turn improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions, significant for a vehicle mode that has seen its emissions change relatively little since 1990, whilst also eliminating tyre wear during cornering, enabling the use of fuel-efficient tyres. This renews optimism of a breakthrough in efficiency solutions for harder-to-abate vehicle modes, for whom current commercially viable technologies fail to deliver sufficient emissions reductions. – Sam Phelps

Ireland: Minister of State Naughton announces over €16 million in capital funding for Regional Airports. In a press release it states that part of the funding will be used to create a more sustainable focus at the airports. This includes the provision of solar PV farms and a plan to replace current airport vehicles with electric vehicles. LEDs will be put in place of current airport lighting, as they are more energy efficient. These new sustainable plans coincide with Ireland’s Action Plan for Aviation Emissions Reduction and the Climate Action Plan 2021, which seeks to mitigate the impact of aviation on the environment. – By Kloudia Sakowski

Australia: Western Sydney to run trial of zero emission buses. The technology for these six new buses was developed locally in Western Sydney. In a press release, the NSW Government stated that these new buses are designed to optimise charging and reduce strain on the power grid. Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott said that the transition to electric buses will not only help with sustainability but will also help generate new jobs in Western Sydney. The government also plans to convert over eight thousand buses all to zero emission technology as part of a wider Zero Emission Bus Strategy. – By Kloudia Sakowski

Denmark announces their new plan to replace gas heating. Denmark wishes to be free of Russian energy as soon as possible and is therefore committing to a green transition, announced Minister for Climate, Energy and Supply Dan Jørgensen in a press release. He announced the five steps Denmark will fast-track their goal of being independent from natural gas by 2028. More green heat, more green gas, more green power, green tax reform and green Danish solutions will be used to ensure that Denmark and the rest of Europe end their reliance on natural gases. They aim to quadruple the production of renewable energy on land by 2030. According to the EAFO, Danish gas-powered vehicles have been on the decline since 2018, while electric vehicle adoption has risen sharply. – By Kloudia Sakowski

Growth of recharging points (CP) and alternative fuels refuelling points (H2, CNG, LNG and LPG) – European Alternative Fuels Observatory.

EU announces €1 billion Green Deal to protect the ocean. At the Our Ocean Conference in Palau the EU continues to pledge towards international Ocean Governance. The Commission has presented a list of 44 commitments for 2020-2022 and an amount of almost €1 billion to maintain them, according to a press release. These 44 commitments draw on the goals of how to further develop ways to sustainably manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change, tackle marine pollution and more. – By Kloudia Sakowski

New TEN-T Regulation is key for Europe’s sustainability and smart mobility. This new revision of the TEN-T focuses on updating the trans-European transport network to include more sustainability and smart mobility, including rail. The press release states this new report will upgrade the framework that dates back to 2013, and seeks to help achieve the goals set in the Green Deal, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the Rail Action Plan. Moreover, the European Economic and Social Committee stated that it is in favour of harmonising infrastructure requirements for the “core” and “comprehensive” networks and reiterated the importance of facilitating intermodal and multimodal transport of freight. – By Kloudia Sakowski

EU Ports’ Climate Performance: An Analysis of maritime supply chain and at berth emission Transport and Environment calculated the emission of ships at berth which included loading, unloading or refuelling in ports, and assigned a maritime supply chain to European Ports. The calculation of the maritime supply chain also included the emission of ships at berth. The top three European Ports by maritime supply chain emissions were: Rotterdam followed by Antwerp and Hamburg. The following is the graph of country ranking of maritime supply chain emissions:

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It is important to look at this data mainly for the improvement of health of the local population as the pollution from the ports might affect them. The data further revealed that oil tankers were the main cause for emissions. One of the main drawbacks of the study was that the researchers only considered carbon dioxide and did not consider nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide. Nonetheless, the study provides strong evidence in favour of stronger policy action. Indeed, T&E have called on the EU to ensure that at least half of all shipping emissions are covered by the EU ETS, require all ports to provide shore-side electricity at berths between 2025 and 2035, and to introduce targets for the installation of hydrogen and ammonia refuelling infrastructure. – Shaymala Patel

California proposes to accelerate mandates for zero-emission vehicle sales. The California Air Resources proposed on the 12 of April to raise the zero-emission vehicle mandate from 24% of new sales to 35% for 2026. The state will then aim to reach 68% in 2030 before requiring 100% of new car sales in 2035 to be zero-emission. According to the California Air Resources Board, this proposal would mean the state of California is spearheading the phaseout of gas-powered vehicles in the US. With passenger vehicles being the state’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the clock is ticking for California to meet its legal obligation to cut emissions by 40% and stop fuelling the climate crisis. – Georgia King

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