* EU study: transport can cut CO2 by 89 pct by 1990
* Biofuels must double efficiency, ICE engines redundant
By Pete Harrison
BRUSSELS, June 15 Europe's transport sector
could cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 90 percent by 2050,
partly by boosting biofuels, scrapping the internal combustion
engine and lowering speed limits, a study showed on Tuesday.
"It seems very difficult, if not impossible, to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 50 percent or more
through the uptake of technical options alone," says the final
report of a European Commission consultation.
"In order to reduce transport's greenhouse gas emissions by
around 89 percent compared to 1990, it is essential that both
technical and non-technical options are taken up," it adds.
The report follows a 15-month consultation with about 100
stakeholders from industry and environment groups. It is
available here: www.eutransportghg2050.eu
Such a cut would prove challenging, because transport is
growing explosively and shipping and aviation cannot be
Technical measures could contribute a cut to 36 percent
below 1990 levels, including doubling the efficiency of biofuels
and by replacing nearly all internal combustion engines with
electric or fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
That would require all the electricity going into electric
vehicles to come from 100 percent renewable sources, and for
biofuels to achieve greenhouse gas savings of 85 percent and
make up about a third of fuel supply.
Non-technical measures would carry the rest of the effort --
for example, lowering speed limits, improving town planning and
harmonising taxes to ensure highly polluting fuels no longer
The increased demand for biofuels raises serious questions
"A large demand for biomass from transport could be
incompatible with feeding the growing population of the planet,
particularly with the anticipated increase in meat consumption,"
says the report.
Failure to act would allow transport's emissions to grow by
25 percent from today's levels by 2050, and to 74 percent above
By 2050, shipping is seen growing by over 65 percent,
aviation by over 50 percent, and road freight by more than 45
Europe's transport commissioner Siim Kallas is expected to
launch his future transport strategy by the end of 2010, but
there is no guarantee he will act on the report's conclusions.