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Article

Decarbonizing Transport in the European Union: Emission Performance Standards and the Perspectives for a European Green Deal

Department of Political and Social Sciences, Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), Ihnestr. 22, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
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Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208381
Received: 30 July 2020 / Revised: 23 September 2020 / Accepted: 6 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Automobilities in the Mobile Risk Society)
The transport sector is a major driver of climate change both globally and in the European Union (EU). While the EU as a whole is showing declining carbon emissions, transport-related emissions are higher than in 1990. Car traffic is responsible for around 12 percent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen underlined the efforts to strengthen the decarbonization of the EU at the end of 2019 by publishing the European Green Deal (EGD) communication. In this paper, we analyze the controversy surrounding the emission performance standards for cars adopted in spring 2019. Car manufacturers must reduce the average carbon emissions of their fleets by 37.5% between 2021 and 2030. In this respect, the new emission performance standards are more ambitious than the previous ones. However, our argument is that without a major shift in the balance of power, extensive decarbonization and a departure from car-centered transport development will not be possible. Therefore, it is crucial for mobility research to critically engage with lobbying power in the EU and with concepts such as environmental leadership, which often underexpose the structural power of incumbent actors and existing path dependencies. View Full-Text
Keywords: EU; fleet limits; Green Deal; lobbyism; transport policy EU; fleet limits; Green Deal; lobbyism; transport policy
MDPI and ACS Style

Haas, T.; Sander, H. Decarbonizing Transport in the European Union: Emission Performance Standards and the Perspectives for a European Green Deal. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8381. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208381

AMA Style

Haas T, Sander H. Decarbonizing Transport in the European Union: Emission Performance Standards and the Perspectives for a European Green Deal. Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8381. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208381

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haas, Tobias, and Hendrik Sander. 2020. "Decarbonizing Transport in the European Union: Emission Performance Standards and the Perspectives for a European Green Deal" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8381. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208381

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