If you’re one of the millions of Europeans that commutes into a city by car every day, you may soon be out of luck. The EU is trying to ban all gas- and diesel-powered cars from European cities by 2050.
A European Commission released a plan to cut carbon emissions across Europe which included a plan to completely eliminate conventionally powered vehicles in city centers across all of Europe. Part of the plan would also limit cheap British holiday flights to encourage anyone who takes a long trip across Europe to use the train.
According to the Telegraph: Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto “alternative” means of transport.
“That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres,” he said. “Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”
The aim of the plan is to make it completely unfeasible to use conventionally fueled vehicles in cities, instead encouraging people to use electric and biofuel powered cars and trucks.
The plan lays out a timetable to eliminate half of cars used in cities by 2030 and get rid of them altogether by 2050. As part of the plan, a goal was also set to halve all road-based fatalities in the next 10 years with the goal of eliminating them completely by 2050.
The aim of the plan is to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 60% across Europe by 2050. As expected, the announcement was almost immediately followed by a chorus of protesting voices.
“I suggest that [Kallas] goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers. “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.”
Critics go on to say that the plan would completely cripple commerce across Europe, making it impossible to do business without the infrastructure that’s offered by the trucking industry. They also point to the plan’s reliance on biofuels as an alternative fuel source, as this will cause dramatic problems for farmers across Europe. Biofuels are still controversial because producing them creates more carbon emissions then their eventual use saves.
So does this proposal go too far, or is it exactly the kind of drastic action that is needed to combat the ever-increasing problem of global climate change? And what do you think the reaction would be to something like this if it was proposed in America? Tell us your thoughts below.