International Transport Forum: Why Biofuels When Much Cheaper Measures are Available for Climate Protection?

    PARIS, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - "We need to concentrate on the most cost-effective
measures to reduce CO(2) emissions in transport", stressed Jack Short,
Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, at the United Nations
Climate Change Conference in Bali on Thursday. Too often high cost and low
impact measures are being chosen, he criticised. Because the challenge for the
sector to reduce its CO(2) emissions is immense, neither industrial nor
developing countries can afford to get priorities wrong. "By achieving the
required emission reductions at the lowest overall cost, it is possible to
protect the climate with minimal damage to welfare and economic growth."
    Short's alarming perspective is that the substantial growth in traffic
anticipated over the next decades in all modes of transport under a business
as usual scenario will likely double world transport emissions by 2030.
Therefore "wide ranging and integrated policy packages are needed" to reduce
transport emissions. According to Short these include significant advances in
vehicle and vehicle component technology supported by a range of policy
measures aimed at increasing fuel efficiency. It is also necessary to act on
the demand side, "not to restrict mobility, but to manage it."
    According to the International Transport Forum "effective and affordable"
actions include tax and regulatory incentives for improved vehicle components
including tyres, lubricants, air conditioners and lights not covered by the
standard tests that award fuel efficiency ratings to cars. Training,
information and support for "ecodriving" is also highly cost effective with an
immediate pay-off in reduced emissions. These are "the most cost-effective"
practices, Short stressed, "but at present we are not taking advantage of
them. We are putting too much hope in expensive options like biofuels that are
neither cost effective nor necessarily good environmentally".

    The International Transport Forum, part of the OECD family, is a global
platform and meeting place at the highest level for transport, logistics and
mobility. Key figures from government and politics, business and industry,
research and civil society will meet at the annual conference in Leipzig,
which has the ambition to become the "Transport Summit of the Year". The first
Forum will take place in May 2008 on the theme "Transport and Energy: The
Challenge of Climate Change". The involvement of more than 50 Ministers of
Transport ensures direct links and strong relevance to policy making at both
national and international levels.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Zirpel, Director of Communications,
International Transport Forum, Tel: +33(0)1-45-24-95-96, Fax:

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