Page 47 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2016 publication
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Autumn 2016 European Energy Innovation  47

                                           TRANSPORT DECARBONISATION

noise and air pollution, other health      further be enhanced if incentives are
impacts and balance of payment             reinforced by member state, regional
impacts.                                   and local strategies. This optimisation
                                           will also require that incentives
EMISSIONS STANDARDS WORK                   are aligned with carbon efficiency,
Transport policies should aim to           requiring an end to environmentally
achieve the necessary GHG emissions        harmful subsidies. In addition, member
reductions, but should equally be          states should reinforce technology
aimed at keeping the EU car industry       neutrality by doing away with tax
and its products globally competitive.     breaks, for example, for diesel or
The key policy for achieving both is       natural gas. Similarly, support for those
the steady tightening of technology        biofuels that increase GHG emissions
neutral emissions standards in line        should be discontinued while
with the technological frontier and        respecting existing legal commitments.
equipped with adequate flexibility
provisions. Passenger cars have been       On the EU level, a more proactive
subject to mandatory CO2 emissions         infrastructure policy for alternative fuels
standards since 2009. Actual emissions     should focus on creating an internal
levels seem to suggest that these          market free of barriers for alternative
standards work effectively. The steady     fuels. This could include the creation of
tightening of standards will continue to   cross-border corridors for charging and
incentivise combustion efficiency and      fuelling stations which could later be
in parallel speed up the deployment        linked to speed up the development of
of new low-carbon technologies and         a pan-European low-carbon network. l
fuels such as vehicles running on low-
carbon electricity, sustainable biofuels,                                               Contact details:
gas or hydrogen. But a precondition
for emissions standards to work is a                                                    Dr. Arno Behrens
robust and credible monitoring system                                                   Head of Energy & Research Fellow
to assess the gap between emissions                                                     CEPS - Centre for European Policy
measured under the test cycle and                                                       Studies
real emissions. Otherwise emissions                                                     Place du Congrès 1, B-1000 Brussels
reductions will remain statistical,                                                     Phone: +32 (0)2 229 39 16
largely unrelated to existing real-life                                                 Fax: +32 (0)2 7065626

The impact of emissions standards can

1) This contribution is based on the CEPS Special Report “Towards an Effective EU Framework for Road Transport and GHG Emissions” (July 2016), available free of
charge at
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