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The European Union has said it will enter discussions with member states, the EU Parliament and “all concerned parties” after studies showed its latest road transport Mobility Package is likely to increase CO2 emissions.

Back in July of last year, the European Commission “expressed regret” at the latest raft of changes, namely the compulsory return of the vehicle to the Member State of establishment every eight weeks.

It said the new requirements were “possibly not in line with the European Green Deal’s ambitions and the European Council endorsement of the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050.”

The results of a study into the environment impact of the changes now seems to have cemented the European Commission’s opinion.

The conclusion of the study on return obligations is that the new regulations will noticeably increase CO2 emissions:

The analysis of the return obligation for vehicles shows that in the scenario that according to the study is the most likely to occur, the provision is likely to create additional journeys, potentially resulting in up to 2.9 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions in 2023 (a 4.6% increase in international road freight emissions). Across the three scenarios that were studied, the increase in CO2 emissions ranges from 0.8% to 4.6%.

The same was true of the study on cabotage quotas:

The study focusing on the cabotage quotas for international combined transport operations estimates that a widespread use by Member States of the option to introduce them could lead to an additional 397 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and to potential negative long-term effects on rail and intermodal freight.

As a result of the findings, the European Commission will now enter into dialogue with multiple parties to try to find solutions that fit the purpose of the Mobility Package without having a negative environmental impact:

The Commission’s intention is to open a discussion with Member States, the European Parliament and all concerned parties on the possible ways forward, based on the data and findings of the two studies. The Commission aims to have an open dialogue to assess potential next steps in the light of the need to pursue the Green Deal objectives, the proper functioning of the Single Market, and the need to secure high social standards and the well-being of drivers.


Photo credit: Pickpik

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