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Toss biodiesel for cheaper emissions reducing options: International Transport Forum

PARIS -- The Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, Jack Short, is calling for the transportation ...

PARIS — The Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, Jack Short, is calling for the transportation industry to move away from expensive emissions-reducing options like biodiesel in order to find the most cost-effective measures to reduce CO2. Short made these comments at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali today.

Too often high cost and low impact measures are being chosen, he criticized. “By achieving the required emission reductions at the lowest overall cost, it is possible to protect the climate with minimal damage to welfare and economic growth,” Short said.

Short says that the substantial growth in traffic anticipated over the next decades in all modes of transport under a business as usual scenario will likely double world transport emissions by 2030.

Therefore “wide ranging and integrated policy packages are needed” to reduce transport emissions. According to Short these include significant advances in vehicle and vehicle component technology supported by a range of policy measures aimed at increasing fuel efficiency. It is also necessary to act on the demand side, “not to restrict mobility, but to manage it.”

According to the International Transport Forum “effective and affordable” actions include tax and regulatory incentives for improved vehicle components including tires, lubricants, air conditioners and lights not covered by the standard tests that award fuel efficiency ratings to cars. Training, information and support for “ecodriving” are also highly cost effective with an immediate pay-off in reduced emissions, Short says. These are “the most cost-effective” practices, Short stressed, “but at present we are not taking advantage of them. We are putting too much hope in expensive options like biofuels that are neither cost effective nor necessarily good environmentally.”

The International Transport Forum is a global platform and meeting place at the highest level for transport, logistics and mobility. Key figures from government and politics, business and industry, research and civil society will meet at the annual conference in Leipzig. The first Forum will take place in May with the theme “Transport and Energy: The Challenge of Climate Change.” More than 50 Ministers of Transport will be in attendance at the event.

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