The new White Paper on transports in Europe has the subtitle: “Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system”. This is a dream for an Environmental Director, the environmental principle #1 in the heading!
The White Paper contains:
10 goals for a competitive and resource effcicient transport system; benchmarks for achieving 60% green house gas emission reduction, including: Developing and deploying new sustainable fuels, multimodal logistics, increasing the efficiency of transports and infrastructure, 40 hands-on actions to be executed in order to realise the goals.
Some of the imediate actions relevant for buses and coaches are:
• Revise motor fuel taxation with clear identification of the energy and CO2 component.
• Phase in a mandatory infrastructure charge for heavy-duty vehicles. The scheme would introduce a common tariff structure and cost components such as the recovery of wear and tear, noise and local pollution costs to replace the existing user charges.
• Proceed with the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport applying common principles while taking into account the specificity of each mode.
• Create a framework for earmarking revenues from transport for the development of an integrated and efficient transport system.
• Reassess transport taxation where necessary, namely by linking vehicle taxation to environmental performance, reflecting on possible way forward to review the current VAT system concerning passenger transport, and revising company car taxation to eliminate distortions and favour the deployment of clean vehicles.
Knowing that buses and coaches have the lowest envirnmental impact among public transports I feel envy seeing actions such as: “Ensure that liability regimes promote rail, waterborne and intermodal transport.”
I will have to come back in the blog with guidelines for a technology neutral approach to ensure the competitiveness and quality of life in strategy documents.