An ambitious new proposal in the European Union calls for the elimination of fossil fuel-burning vehicles in cities by the year 2050. The radical plan, proposed by the European Commission, would prohibit gasoline and diesel fueled cars in an attempt to reduce Europe’s carbon footprint. The proposal, “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area,” explains the steps to transform a gas guzzling transport system into a cleaner, emission-free one.
Announced by commissioner Siim Kallas, the plan takes a few factors into consideration. It realistically assesses the world’s over-usage and dependency on oil as fuel, while calling attention to the pollution and carbon emissions caused by traffic congestion. The plan also calls for a “transport area” which would create a unified transportation infrastructure that would span the entire continent. This would drastically reduce carbon emissions, and confine them to specific areas.
The plan also targets airplane emissions with a proposed ban on flights under 186 miles. Travelers would be encouraged to use trains and buses instead.
However many international business and residents see the plan as unrealistic and archaic. The Association of British Drivers feels the plan would bring Europe back into the “Dark Ages,” not due to the ban on fossil fuels, but because of the limitations on travel.
The other deterrent is the cost. An investment of over $2 trillion dollars would be necessary to make Kallas’ plan a reality in the next 40 years. Unfortunately, signs indicate that the dependence and usage of fossil fuels will only increase in the coming 40 years, further damaging the environment and depleting the earth’s sources of said fuel. Although seemingly premature, elements of the European Commission’s plan will be inevitable as fossil fuels are used up.
Images Wikimedia Commons