EU reference scenario published on upcoming goals and trends in transport, energy and emissions

The European Council will discuss at its meeting on June 26 the climate and energy targets for the EU for 2030. This is the second meeting of the Council on the topic after The European Commission presented earlier this year “A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030”. The framework sets out new targets for CO2 emission reductions and increase of the renewable energy share of electricity consumption for 2030. Polis has prepared a summary note of the most important elements regarding transport. The EU’s proposed climate and energy package should be finalised this October.

At the same time the European Commission has prepared a Reference Scenario for the EU Energy, Transport and Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) trends until 2050. It makes mid-term projections for 2020 and 2030 and long-term ones for 2050. The document should also serve as a benchmark for the future development.

According to the Reference Scenario, the activity of the transport sector, both passenger and freight, is growing significantly with the highest growth rates occurring from 2010 to 2030, driven by developments in economic activity. Beyond 2030, the activity of passenger transport continues to grow however at slow rates, as a result of decreasing population, decrease in GDP growth and saturation of passenger car demand.

Another observation made is that road transport is expected to maintain its dominant role in passenger transport by 2050, despite growing at lower pace relative to other modes. Passenger cars alone would represent about 67% of total passenger transport activity in 2050 although their modal share would decrease by about 7 percentage points between 2010 and 2050.

The document discusses as well the trends in energy demand and CO2 emissions from transport. Polis produced a brief note of the Reference Scenario, which is available here.

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