The European Union wants to ban cars and trucks from cities by 2050 in a draconian plan designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent. The plan also includes a provision to force Europeans out of airplanes and into trains, The Telegraph (UK) reports.
The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.
The European Commission says its plan to drive out ‘conventionally fuelled’ petrol and diesel cars within 40 years and replace them with ‘clean’ alternatives such as electric or hydrogen powered vehicles is necessary to save the planet.
The plan also envisages the end to cheap holiday flights from United Kingdom to southern Europe with a target that over 50 percent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.
Officials say it’s vital to cut pollution and stop global warming which scientists blame on carbon dioxide (CO2) – the so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ emitted from car exhausts.
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.”
Setting out another major goal, the European Commission adds that by 2050 Europe should “move close to zero fatalities in road transport”, with an interim target of halving all road casualties by 2020.
But critics said the latest Brussels blueprint to force people into ‘green’ cars, slash dependence on oil and tackle climate change, was bamboozling drivers and taking the European Union into “the realms of fantasy”.
The Association of British Drivers (BDA) rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a “crazy” restriction on mobility. “I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.
“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,” he added.
Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe’s economic competitiveness.
“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,” he claimed.
“The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars. This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions,” said Christopher Monckton, transport spokesman for the UK Independence Party’.
The measures could “dramatically reduce Europe’s dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050”, says the European Commission.
As for the U.S., President Barack Obama has said he wants to raise energy prices and that means forcing us from oil/coal to this ‘green’ economy. Cars would fit right in. And once we’re all dependent on mass transit, they can tell us when we can go and when we can’t go. And where.
So, what do you think about it?! Do we need such measures in the U.S.?! Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. [Header image via Buzrael/Flickr; story via The Telegraph (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]