Aviation and shipping growth will undo EU efforts to reduce transport emissions, finds CE Delft study
Wed 7 Dec 2016 – Growth in emissions from air and sea transport will undo EU efforts to reduce those from land transport by 2030 and threaten European climate commitments, concludes campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) following a report it commissioned from consultants CE Delft. Under binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for sectors not covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), land transport – cars, vans, trucks, trains and barges – is expected to consume 43 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) less energy per year in 2030 than it did in 2010. Yet ships and planes in Europe will consume 19 Mtoe more annually in 2030 than they did 20 years earlier, finds CE Delft. Aviation’s share of total EU transport fossil fuel demand is expected to rise from 13% in 2010 to 16% in 2030, while shipping increases from 11% to 14%.
Total fossil fuel demand for the EU transport sector is forecast to decline from 380 Mtoe in 2010 to 356 Mtoe in 2030 (1 Mtoe is equivalent to 7.14 million barrels of oil), with fuels for land use expected to fall from 290 Mtoe in 2010 to 247 Mtoe in 2030. In contrast, aviation fuel demand will rise from 50 Mtoe in 2010 to 59 Mtoe in 2030 and shipping from 40 Mtoe to 50 Mtoe.
The study has factored in the anticipated fuel efficiency gains of the aviation and shipping sectors over the period and estimates aviation at around 1.5% per annum, higher than the 1.0% per annum likely to be achieved by the shipping sector.
T&E points out that unlike aviation, shipping emissions are so far unregulated in the EU, although the European Parliament is about to consider a proposal to fix this by creating a Maritime Climate Fund and including the sector in the EU ETS. The European Commission believes that if included, shipping CO2 emissions could be reduced cumulatively by 80 million tonnes by 2030.
Globally, shipping emissions are expected to account for 17% of all emissions by 2050 – compared to a potential 22% share for aviation – but, reports T&E, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has recently decided to delay by at least seven years any agreement on a global measure. While aviation’s sister UN agency ICAO has agreed to implement a global measure from 2021, it will offset rather than reduce the sector’s CO2 emissions.
“Planes and ships are free riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions,” commented Bill Hemmings, Aviation and Shipping Director at T&E. “This is not only unfair but a roadblock to Europe meeting its own climate commitments. Governments need to think again and include shipping in the ETS and strengthen its aviation provisions.”