Denmark could make fossil-fuel cars cost more in effort to hit climate goal

Owning a petrol or diesel-fuelled car in Denmark must be made more expensive if emissions from private motor ownership are to be reduced, a government-appointed commission has said.

Denmark could make fossil-fuel cars cost more in effort to hit climate goal
Photo: Dennis Lehmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The commission for green transition of private vehicles has delivered its conclusions to the government of how to increase the number of green cars on Denmark’s roads, the Ministry of Tax said in a statement.

The reports sets out pathways to reach the country’s goal for all newly-registered cars to be emissions free or low emissions by 2030. The commission set out scenarios in which that goal could be achieved while maintaining the state’s income from private car ownership, according to the ministry statement.

Costs to the country’s economy were also taken into consideration, while avoiding creating further social inequality was also a priority for the commission.

READ ALSO: Denmark seeks to end sakes of fossil fuel-driven cars by 2030

“The motor commission has submitted a thorough analysis of the options for getting more green cars, which I look forward to reading. The government wants a green transition. Given that transport comprises a good 25 percent of total CO2 emissions, cars are an important step to achieving the government’s 70 percent (emissions reduction) goal by 2030,” tax minister Morten Bødskov said in the statement.

The commission’s recommendations include increasing petrol and diesel prices, subsidies for electric cars and a general road tax of 1,000 for which all motorists will be liable.

That would balance costs with 750,000 electric cars on the road by 2030, a realistic figure given economic factors, according to the commission.

But The Danish Council on Climate Change (Klimarådet), which advises the government on climate issues, maintains that one million electric cars by 2030 should be the target if the overall climate goal of 70 percent emissions reduction is to be achieved, DR writes.

The key recommendations are as follows:

  • A new tax of 1,000 which all vehicle owners are obliged to pay annually for using Danish roads
  • Increase fuel – petrol and diesel – prices by 1 krone per litre, beginning in 2021 (providing the recommendation to achieve 750,000 electric cars by 2030 is accepted)
  • Owners of new electric cars to be given subsidies of2,500 kroner annually until 2030
  • Base the registration tax (registreringsafgift) for new fossil fuel-powered cars will on emissions instead of the vehicle’s value
  • Increase the registration tax for electric cars – which is currently heavily subsidised – gradually until 2030

READ ALSO: Explained: Why is it so expensive to buy a car in Denmark?

According to its climate plan, Denmark must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4m tonnes a year by 2030 to fulfil the goal of a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gases compared to the level in 1990.

The motor commission states that a million green cars on the roads could cut emissions by 1.5 million tonnes.

READ ALSO: Down but not out: how Covid hit Denmark's climate plans

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Central and southern Italy brace for storms and heavy snow

Storms and snowfall are forecast across much of central and southern Italy over the next few days, according to weather reports.

Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy.
Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s Civil Protection Department on Monday issued ‘orange’ alerts for bad weather along Campania’s Tyrrhenian coastline and the western part of Calabria, while Sicily, Basilicata, Lazio, Molise, Umbria, Abruzzo, central-western Sardinia, and the remaining areas of Campania and Calabria are under a lower-level ‘yellow’ weather warning.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is warning Italy’s central-southern regions to prepare for a blast of polar air from the Arctic Circle that will bring heavy snowfall, rain and storms, reports national weather forecaster Il Meteo.

The village of Grotte di Castro in the province of Viterbo, two hours’ drive north of Rome, mountainous parts of Sardinia, and much of the province of Campobasso in the central-eastern region of Molise were already blanketed in snow on Monday morning.

The department is responsible for predicting, preventing and managing emergency events across the country, and uses a green, yellow, orange and red graded colour coding system for weather safety reports.

An orange alert signifies a heavy rainfall, landslide and flood risk, while a yellow alert warns of localised heavy and potentially dangerous rainfall.

The current meteorological conditions mean that snow is expected to reach unusually low altitudes of around 450-500 metres, with flakes already falling thickly on parts of the southern-central Apennines mountain range at 500-700 metres altitude.

The hills of Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Basilicata are likely to see heavy snow around the 500m mark, while areas at an altitude of 1000m or higher will see between 50-60 cm of fresh snow.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO /AFP

In areas where the snow is unlikely to reach, heavy rains and thunderstorms are anticipated, with rain forecast throughout Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Lazio, reports Il Meteo.

Strong winds are forecast over the whole country, with the island regions of Sicily and Sardinia facing windspeeds of over 100km/hour and the risk of storm surges, according to the national newspaper La Repubblica.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: The Italian cities worst affected by flooding and heatwaves

The north of the country, meanwhile, will see sun but low temperatures of below 0°C at night in many areas, including across much of the Po Valley.

While conditions are expected to stabilise on Tuesday, cold currents from Northern Europe are forecast to trigger another wave of bad weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with Sardinia and Italy’s western coastline again at risk of storms and heavy rainfall that will move up towards Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto in the north.