CO2 emissions from traffic in Eindhoven hardly fell

Robin van Wechem and Ilse van Knegsel

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A short drive is still almost entirely on petrol, diesel or gas. CO2 emissions from traffic in Eindhoven have hardly decreased in recent years. Things must improve quickly if the municipality wants to achieve the climate targets.

Reducing CO2 emissions in Eindhoven is not going very smoothly, research from Studio040 showed last week. In 2030, the city must emit 55 percent less CO2 than in 1990. However, the latest figures show that emissions are now 13 percent higher than the level in 1990. required savings.

6 percent reduction needed, 0.3 percent achieved

Eindhoven is also far behind its own climate targets in terms of traffic. CO2 emissions from traffic in and around the city make up around one third of the city’s total direct CO2 emissions. According to the climate budget for 2022, these emissions have decreased by an average of 0.3 percent per year since 2015, while 6 percent more is needed to reach the 2030 savings target.

CO2 emissions in built-up areas have fallen by 4.5 per cent per year. Although the municipality mainly affects the area within the built-up area, this only accounts for 28 percent of the total environmental impact of traffic. The rest comes from country roads and motorways (together responsible for 65 percent of emissions), as well as mobile equipment (7 percent).

Electric driving is not connected at all

In built-up areas, passenger cars account for approximately two-thirds of CO2 emissions. The switch from fossil fuels to electric fuels therefore helps a lot to achieve the savings targets. The municipality expects that establishing the emission-free zone in the city center can provide approximately 40 percent of the traffic savings target.

Still, the electrification of the vehicle fleet is not making progress yet. Instead of the 8,000 electric cars that the municipality had foreseen in the previous climate plan (2016-2020), there were a little more than 1,500 in 2020. The goal is also to have 70 percent electricity for bus and taxi transport in 2020. not achieved.

This makes the gap to the current targets all the greater. By 2025, all buses in the city must be fully electric. In 2026, this should apply to the entire taxi market.

Meerhoven has the most charging stations

Location of charging points seems to be the only issue that the municipality is working on. Between 2018 and 2019, 1.5 times as many charging points for electric cars were installed in public spaces. If just under 200 are added per year from now on, the target for 2030 is achievable.

The Eindhoven ASML district in Meerhoven had the most charging stations in the city in 2021, as well as the most charging stations per thousand inhabitants (just over two). The district of Achtse Molen in Woensel-Noord had only 0.63 charging stations per thousand inhabitants. Installation of charging stations is mainly done at the request of the residents. If they don’t start driving electric, there won’t be charging stations in their neighborhood.

30 percent less noise pollution

And the elephant in the room has yet to be named. Eindhoven Airport falls outside the city’s savings targets. If the CO2 emissions from the flights from the airport were included, according to the municipality, Eindhoven would produce 26 percent extra emissions. If only take-off and landing are included, this corresponds to 3.4 percent extra CO2 emissions.

The airport has committed to the agreements in the Van Geel advisory report from 2019. The maximum number of aircraft movements was limited for two consecutive years. In addition, noise pollution must be reduced by 30 percent in 2030. The airport will do this, among other things, by taxing the airlines extra for polluting aircraft.

Eindhoven Airport will probably not be able to avoid further reducing the number of flights per year, believes Bernard Gerard from Milieudefensie. “It will not be possible to achieve the noise reduction in 2030 with only technical means.”

Too little sustainable fuel

The activities on site will also be made more sustainable. “We do all kinds of processes electrical,” says airport spokeswoman Judith de Roy. “This applies to the push-back vehicles that push aircraft backwards, the baggage carts and the power generator that supplies the aircraft with energy on the ground.”

At the same time, petroleum has not yet been mixed with sustainable fuel, while the target for next year is 5 percent. According to De Roy, this is due to the limited availability. According to the Van Geel recommendation, 14 percent of all petroleum must be sustainable by 2030, if possible even 20 percent.

Holiday flights only

As far as Gerard is concerned, the municipality as a shareholder can be much stricter for the airport. “Eindhoven experiences almost no advantages from the airport and especially disadvantages. Spatial planning restrictions narrow the options for housing. We suffer from noise and air pollution. The airport is even costing the city money because of all the cheap holiday flights. Anyone who has money will spend it in Barcelona instead of Stratum’s End.”

According to Gerard, the argument that the airport would be good for Brainport does not hold either. “I have read annual reports from Brainport, and the airport is not in them. It makes no difference to Brainport whether there is an airport here or not.”

Air pollution costs the city 100 euros per inhabitant per month

Calculations from the analysis agency CE Delft from 2018 showed that air pollution costs the municipality 281.9 million euros per year. That is 1276 euros per year per Eindhoven resident, a little more than 100 euros per month. Stricter traffic and airport regulations can reduce these costs (at least partially).

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