Commenting on the report, Greg Archer, Transport & Environment’s clean vehicles manager, said: “Thanks to EU regulations CO2emissions from new cars are now falling, but the progress on trucks and vans is glacial. The IPCC report stresses the urgency of taking new initiatives to tackle vehicle emissions, but the European Commission’s response is to repeatedly delay promised strategies to regulate car and van emissions after 2020 and to start addressing soaring emissions from trucks.”
The IPCC report confirms that regulations such as Europe’s CO2 standards for cars are very effective in driving down climate-changing emissions. Analysis by T&E shows the introduction of CO2 limits for cars in Europe tripled the annual rate of fuel efficiency gains . But T&E warns that around half the improvement measured in official tests is actually being delivered by vehicles on the road. The European Commission plans to introduce a new test that closes loopholes in the current system in 2017, which is facing fierce opposition from carmakers.
Ambitious vehicle regulations are also the most effective way to drive the market for e-mobility (electric and hydrogen cars). These have the potential, when powered with renewable electricity, to simultaneously lower carbon emissions and reduce noise and air pollution, which destroy the health and shorten the lives of millions of Europeans.
“Current EU policies to encourage the uptake of electric cars are ineffective and muddled. The new Commission needs to come up with a strategy to reduce all emissions from cars, vans and trucks after 2020 and integrate this with sustainable forms of urban mobility. Ultimately, these policies will put European businesses at the forefront of a global shift to non-polluting vehicles”, Greg Archer concluded.
 Prior to the regulation in the period 2000-2007, CO2 emissions in the EU went down by just 1.3% a year. From 2008 to 2013, the average annual rate of improvement has been a 3.5% (http://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/how-clean-are-europes-cars-2013).
The report – the third in a series by the IPCC designed to highlight the climate crisis now facing the planet – is intended as an urgent wake-up call to nations to commit around 1-2% of GDP in order to replace power plants that burn fossil fuels, the major cause of global warming, with renewable sources.
The transport sector accounted for 27% of final energy use and 6.7 GtCO2 direct emissions in 2010, with baseline CO2 emissions projected to approximately double by 2050.
Technical and behavioural mitigation measures for all transport modes, plus new infrastructure and urban redevelopment investments, could reduce final energy demand in 2050 by around 40% below the baseline, with the mitigation potential assessed to be higher than reported in the AR4
Integrated urban planning, transit‐oriented development, more compact urban form that supports cycling and walking, can all lead to modal shifts as can, in the longer term, urban redevelopment and investments in new infrastructure such as high‐speed rail systems that reduce short‐haul air travel demand (medium evidence, medium agreement). Such mitigation measures are challenging, have uncertain outcomes, and could reduce
transport GHG emissions by 20–50% in 2050 compared to baseline (limited evidence, low
agreement). [8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 12.4, 12.5, Figure SPM.8 top panel]
Strategies to reduce the carbon intensities of fuel and the rate of reducing carbon intensity are constrained by challenges associated with energy storage and the relatively low energy density of low carbon transport fuels.
The cost‐effectiveness of different carbon reduction measures in the transport sector varies significantly with vehicle type and transport mode (high confidence).
The levelized costs of conserved carbon can be very low or negative for many short‐term behavioural measures and efficiency improvements for light‐ and heavy‐duty road vehicles and waterborne craft. In 2030, for some electric vehicles, aircraft and possibly high‐speed rail, levelized costs could be more than USD100/tCO2 avoided (limited evidence, medium agreement). [8.6, 8.8, 8.9, Figures TS.21, TS.22]
Regional differences influence the choice of transport mitigation options (high confidence).
Institutional, legal, financial and cultural barriers constrain low‐carbon technology uptake and behavioural change.
Mitigation strategies, when associated with non‐climate policies at all government levels, can help decouple transport GHG emissions from economic growth in all regions
- The IPCC report, Migating Climate Change, was released today. It detailed the path by which the worst effects of climate change can be avoided and global warming, including how the world can avoid breaching the 2C limit agreed by world leaders in Copenhagen in 2009.
- The report is from the last of three IPCC working groups, the first two looked at the the state of climate science and the impacts of unchecked climate change.
- It was produced by 1250 international experts and approved by 194 governments.
- The report found that carbon emissions were still growing and the rate of growth was increasing.
- However mitigating the effects of climate change would only limit global consumption growth by 0.06% – a relatively tiny amount.
- If we want to limt temperature increase to 2c by the end of this century, there would have to be large cuts in emissions, said IPCC chair Rajendra K Pachauri.Tripling to nearly quarduraling of zero to low co2 energy supply will almost get us there.
- A business-as-usual scenario will lead to 3.7C to 4.8C rise in temperature before 2100.
- Working group III co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer said the report contained “hope, modest hope” and that “it does not cost the world to save the planet”.
- Renewable energy was seen as the major energy production platform in a sustainable future.
- Carbon capture and storage, nuclear, bioenergy and shale gas were mentioned alongside renewables as necessary contributers to the global energy mix.
- Last-minute objections from rich countries scrapped a proposed section, which called for hundreds of billions of dollars every year to be paid to developing countries by developed countries.