EU governments’ plans to cut pollution from their respective transport sectors will fail to meet their own emissions targets for 2030, a new climate ranking has revealed.
In the ranking, drawn up by the Brussels-based transport campaign group Transport & Environment, only the Netherlands, the UK and Spain scored above 50% for their draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), which outline how the countries plan to meet 2030 energy and climate targets.
T&E warned that all 28 EU countries will need to implement ‘far more effective’ policies if they truly wish to reduce emissions from the transport sector, Europe’s most emitting sector.
Carlos Calvo Ambel, trends and analysis director at T&E, said: ‘Right now most EU governments’ transport climate plans will see them miss the EU’s binding 2030 emissions targets.
‘That means they could be taken to court and fined, or be forced to pay for emission reductions in other EU countries.’
The Netherlands came top of T&E’s ranking after it pledged that all new cars sold in the country after 2030 will be zero emissions.
The country has also promised to make all its buses zero emissions by 2025 and to reduce its overall transport emissions to 29% of 2005 levels.
The UK and Spain came second and third for similar pledges to phase out fossil-fuelled cars by 2040, although T&E said that both these pledges were non-binding.
Germany was ranked 15th in the list as it postponed making decisions on most of its transport sector until it publishes its final plan, due out before the end of the year.
T&E reserved its strongest criticisms for the bottom two countries in its ranking, Bulgaria and Hungary, as their draft NECPs either contained nothing to reduce their transport emissions or, in the case of Hungary, even planned to increase them.
Calvo Ambel said that the European Commission should act on Europeans’ clear desire for the EU to act properly on the environment.
He said: ‘The new Commission should send governments back to the drawing boards and tell them to come up with a plan that doesn’t ignore the children marching on our streets.’
The European Commission will comment on each country’s NECP before member states must submit their final plans to the EU before the end of this year.
T&E has warned that many member states risk buying billions of euros worth of credits from the best-performing member states if they miss their 2030 targets.
A report published by the European Commission earlier this year revealed that EU member states lost a total of €54.7bn last year for failing to implement EU environmental laws.
Earlier this week the UK announced its new target of making a net zero contribution to climate change by 2050, although BEIS figures show its transport sector only reduced its emissions by 3% last year.