ECF calls for active travel priority as car lobby gains watered down EC emissions verdict

In the wake of a watered down emissions ruling by the European Commission, the European Cyclists Federation is to call on the bike business to rally behind an effort to call for active travel investment to be prioritised across Europe.

Coinciding with the COP 23 negotiations in Bonn, Germany, the European Commission introduced its new proposal for post 2021 CO2 emissions for cars and vans. Even after two years of “Dieselgate” the car lobby seems to have avoided strong regulation on emissions, watering down the proposals. The verdict has been described as an “early Christmas present” from the EC to the car industry.

The 2021 objective says that the average emissions of new cars registered in the EU should not exceed 95 grams CO2/ km. The Commission’s draft law now requires CO2 emissions from new cars to fall by just 30 % between 2021 and 2030; with an intermediate target of 15 % for 2025. The European Parliament has previously supported a 18-28% cut by 2025. Nine EU countries have written to the Commission supporting a cut of 40% by 2030.

According to calculations from the ECF’s partner organisation Transport and Environment, the Commission’s proposal would cover less than a third of the road transport emission cuts that are needed by 2030.

Adam Bodor, ECF’s Advocacy Director says: “Given the fact that the EU fails to properly address emissions from cars to honour its climate obligations, it absolutely needs to prioritise now a shift to active mobility and public transport as part of the solution. The EU Cycling Strategy Recommendations document that was formulated by a wide coalition of stakeholders and handed over to the European Commission in June 2017 outlines in full detail what the EU, but also national, regional and local authorities have to do in order to grow cycling by 50 % by 2030.”

The Commission’s proposal also includes a non-binding target for zero emission vehicles of 30% of new sales in 2030 and provisions to better monitor real-world fuel consumption. It will now be considered by the European Council and Parliament.

The ECF will continue to advocate for e-bikes to be included in these proposals.

The European Commission’s proposals can be read in full here.