According to a 15-month long study conducted in part by the European Commission, Europe's transportation sector could feasibly cut its greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by a resounding 89 percent by 2050. While the study concludes that the EU could cut emissions by nearly 90 percent, it's almost impossible that this will actually happen. It's not that the study is inaccurate, it's just that many of the targets cited are far from obtainable without drastic changes to transportation as we now know it.
For example, the study shows that technical advancements such as doubling the efficiency of biofuels, replacing virtually all gasoline-powered vehicles with models that run on electric power and modifying the existing gas engines that remain in use would only lead to an emissions reduction of 36 percent over levels recorded in 1990. Getting that additional 53 percent reduction would require lowering speed limits, a thorough reworking of the layout of cities to focus on better vehicle flow, removing any subsidies for highly polluting fuels and possibly even eliminating shipping and aviation in the area. Obviously, this is not going to happen soon, but the EU Commission warns that failure to act upon its recommendation will result in emissions ballooning by 2050 to 25 percent over today's levels and 74 percent above the marks set in 1990. Just something to think about as we seek additional ways to ward off ever-increasing emissions worldwide.
[Source: Reuters, EU Transport | Image: Simone Ramella - C.C. License 2.0]