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NGV industry to play role in reaching emission targets

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The new Climate & Energy Package, published by the European Commission at the end of January, sets out a framework on climate and energy for 2030 that succeeds its 2020 climate goals.

The European transport sector will play a crucial role in reaching these new targets. Transport is essential to a strong economy and is expected to increase by 80% (freight), and 50 % (passenger transport) by 2050, while CO2 emissions will hopefully decrease by 60%.

The goals included in the new framework include:

  • A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below the 1990 level.
  • An EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%.
  • Renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies.
  • A new governance system.
  • A set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system.

Current national targets require countries to ensure renewables account for 20% of total EU energy use by 2020. The new strategy recommends an EU-wide goal of at least 27% renewables, however foresees no national binding targets.

Transport targets

The framework, however, does not predict specific sub-targets on cutting emissions from transport, which is currently the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases in the EU. Existing sub-targets for the transport sector, aiming at cutting road fuel emissions by 6% by 2020, will expire in 2020.

The EU is currently on track to meet its 2020 goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990, and to increase the share of renewable energy in the mix to 20%.

New EU limits on fuel efficiency and emissions from new cars and vans from 2020 are yet to be decided, however those improvements will be cancelled out by pollution from an overall rise in road and other transport.

NGVA Europe comment

“The Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association welcomes the European Commission’s initiative and supports further steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Natural Gas Vehicle industry will play a strong role when it comes to reaching the targets set, stressing the fact that the transport sector today accounts for a third of CO2 emissions. The use of CNG and LNG brings CO2 cuts of 25% at average compared to petrol and even more ambitious targets can be met by blending natural gas with biomethane. NGVA Europe therefore would have welcomed specific sub-targets for the transport sector to be included in the framework since natural gas mobility will have a significant positive impact on Europe’s carbon footprint. Emissions from transport will continue to rise, making it less likely that Europe will meet its long-term climate goals.”

“In addition, we emphasise the fact that a lack of binding targets for renewables leads to uncertainty in the biomethane related industry and can be seen as a step backwards when it comes to strengthening European’s competitiveness in this sector.”

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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