From: EurActiv
Published September 28, 2015 11:12 AM

The Volkswagen scandal and EU transportation emissions

The revelations that Volkswagen, the world's second largest car manufacturer, had routinely gamed US emissions testing has thrown the spotlight on the environmental and health impact of cars.

While EU member states, such as the UK, open or consider investigations into the beleaguered company, European Commission officials are currently reviewing the executive’s 2011 White Paper for transport, its main policy roadmap for the sector.

Bringing extra impetus to their deliberation is the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, international talks aimed at capping global warming.

Decarbonisation

Transport, which includes fuel sold for international aviation and shipping, accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, according to the European Environment Agency.

It is the second biggest contributor after the power sector, with cars making up the single largest source of emissions.

The decarbonisation of the transport sector was cited in the EU’s Energy Union blueprint, but details were scant.

In 2016, the executive is expected to launch a communication on bringing down CO2. It is possible the package will include 2025 reduction targets for car CO2 emissions.

As MEPs, industry leaders and politicians meet in Brussels for the forum, EU officials are undertaking a review of its white paper on transport that will feed into the communication.

Dirty car exhaust image via Shutterstock.

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