The European Commission has unveiled a plan for transport in the European Union that will leave many of its citizens dumbfounded. It sets some very challenging goals with a 2050 deadline. The White Paper proposes the ban of conventionally fueled cars in the city centers, along with a 40 percent cut in shipping emissions. Furthermore, the plans envisions a 40 percent reduction in carbon fuels in aviation and a 50 percent shift in middle distance journeys by both passengers and freight from road to rail and other modes of transportation.
According to EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas, all these measures combined would generate a 60 percent overall cut in carbon emissions on the continent. In addition, the Commission wants to reduce deaths caused by road accidents by 50 percent in 2020 and hopes to “move close” to eliminating deaths by 2050.
Setting ambitious objectives is one thing, but the reality is a completely different story. The United Kingdom has already rejected the Commission’s proposal with the country’s transport minister Norman Baker saying the EU should not be involved in cities’ transport choices. “We will not be banning cars from city centers anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,” Baker said.
Kallas was heavily criticized by the Association of British Drivers, which views the plan as a crazy restriction on mobility. “I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, BDA spokesman. “If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker,” he added.
Christopher Monckton, UK Independence Party’s transport spokesman, also mocked the Commission’s proposal: “The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars. This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions.”
Feel free to express your views on this matter in the commentary area below.
By Dan Mihalascu