CO2: Phasing out petrol powered cars by 2050?
9 March 2011
"To safeguard the climate: petrol powered cars to disappear by 2050," headlines Die Presse, reporting on an early draft of a transport white paper currently being prepared by the European Commission. According to the Viennese daily, the document outlines plans to halve the number of combustion engine vehicles in European cities by 2030, and to phase them out completely by 2050. It also features a number of proposals to achieve the Europe 2020 objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. On 8 March, Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, presented a number of ideas to be included in a programme with an estimated annual cost of 270 billion euros, which will oblige member states to upgrade publicly owned buildings, impose energy audits on industry, and exert “gentle pressure” on consumers to save energy. In response to the salvo of new standards, Die Presse ironically wonders if "the EU could be considering plans to regulate the intestinal flora" of European citizens, with a view to promoting a more energy efficient society.