29 March 2011 | Lindsay Clark
The European Commission has adopted a policy
that says half long-distance road freight should be shifted to other modes of
transport by 2050.
In a whitepaper, the EC sets out its plan for meeting transport carbon emission
targets, which involve altering supply chains.
new technologies alone are not enough to reduce emissions from road freight,
distribution organisations must move more goods via water or rail links for
distances of more than 300km.
vice president Siim Kallas, who is responsible
for transport, stressed the importance of Europe increasing mobility and cutting
emissions. “We can and we must do both,” he said. “The widely held belief that
you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. Curbing
mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the
transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and
compromising mobility. It can be win–win.”
Meanwhile, petro-chemical giant Shell has
spelled out the challenges in transferring to an economy with a low demand for
oil, one of the key commodities driving the supply chain.
“Heightened collaboration between civil
society and the public and private sectors is vital if we want to address
economic, energy and environmental challenges,” said Shell’s chief executive
A Shell report points out that energy
demand could triple by 2050, from its 2000 level. It found that although demand
could be moderated by 20 per cent with greater efficiency, and supply increased
by about 50 per cent with geological and technical advances, there was still a
huge gap between the two.