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European Commission presented its transport initiatives for the coming four years as part of longer terms plans to decarbonise the sector.

Under new goals set by Brussels, by 2030 zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready with ports in a position to supply the requisite new fuel, and carbon pricing in place to ensure there is a strong uptake of these new vessels. The commission anticipates 30m zero-emission cars to be on the continent’s roads by 2030 and for zero-emission large aircraft to be commercially viable five years later.

The strategy paper also suggested that Europe might end its tax exemption for bunker fuels and aviation fuel as early as next year.

“The taxation of energy content for various fuels should be better aligned, and the uptake of sustainable transport fuels better incentivised,” the report maintained.

The commission said shipping and aviation ought to be given “priority access to additional renewable and low-carbon liquid and gaseous fuels, since there is a lack of suitable alternative powertrains in the short term”.

On the future of shipping fuels, the staff working document states: “Liquid biofuels would represent 39-40% of the fuel mix by 2050, while e-liquids would contribution (sic) an additional 19-20%. Low carbon gases (bio-LNG and e-gas) are projected to represent 20 to 22% of the fuel mix and hydrogen another 7-8%.”