19 Aug 2021, 13:40
Sören Amelang

Combustion engine ban most effective step for reaching German transport climate targets – report

Clean Energy Wire

A ban on sales of new combustion engines by 2025 would contribute the most to achieving Germany's 2030 climate targets for the transport sector, but many other steps are also necessary, according to a report by the Wuppertal institute commissioned by Greenpeace. Ending new registrations of conventional cars in four years would save almost 44 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, the report estimated. A reform of the vehicle tax and the introduction of a registration tax could reduce emissions by almost 29 million tonnes by 2030, while a stop to all new road construction could save 21 million tonnes, the authors calculated. 

The researchers said single measures are not enough to achieve a comprehensive emissions reduction. Instead, several instruments need to be combined to create synergies, they argued. "However, implementation must begin quickly – further delays will make it increasingly difficult to achieve the goal," the report says. "Not least due to the lifespan of new vehicles, which will determine the composition of the vehicle fleet for years to come, due to 'lock-in effects' and path dependencies from built infrastructure, and due to the long planning times of necessary energy and infrastructure projects, which are central to the market penetration of e-mobility."

Germany has been struggling to lower emissions in the transport sector, which have remained broadly stable for decades as gains from more efficient engines have been eaten up by heavier cars. But the country has brought forward its target date for reaching climate neutrality to 2045 and has set annual emission targets for each sector to reach that goal. Emissions in the transport sector will have to drop by more than 40 percent within this decade, with increasingly steep reductions towards the end of the 2020s. 

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