Germany’s cheap public transport ticket an ‘ineffective climate tool’

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From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

August 23, 2023 by oldbrew 

German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]

No surprise there. What are these delusional climate worriers even talking about? If ‘the climate’ was human it wouldn’t give a hoot how Germans get around, but might be bemused to find itself corroding the minds of their leaders with their irrational obsession over ‘carbon emissions’ to the exclusion of all else.
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Germany’s new monthly €49 offer for all regional public transport will have little impact on the transport sector’s carbon emissions so the country will continue to fail its climate targets for transport and beyond, according to an expert council advising the government.

As the German transport sector has so far failed to meet its emissions targets, in June the government presented a bundle of measures that should help to put the country on track to reduce overall emissions by 65% by 2030, compared to 1990, says Euractiv.

One of the key measures touted by Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP/Renew Europe), is the new “Deutschlandticket” introduced in May, a subscription offer that enables users to use regional trains and buses, trams, metros, as well as some ferries across the country for €49 per month.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who called the predecessor of the €49 ticket, the temporary introduction of a similar €9 ticket over the summer of 2022, “one of the best ideas we ever had”, told newspaper Taz in January that “with our decisions, we ensure that we can achieve the climate targets and at the same time preserve prosperity in our country”.

However, the transport sector is far from reaching its emissions reduction targets for the run-up to 2030, and the €49 ticket helps little, according to a forecast by the Federal Environment Agency, published alongside a report by the German Council of Experts on Climate Change, which advises the government. [Talkshop comment – amusingly pompous title there].

During this decade, the sector will overshoot its emissions pathway by 117 to 191 million tonnes of CO2, the expert council noted, adding that the huge latitude was due to different forecasts on the effectiveness of climate measures between the transport ministry and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

For the Deutschlandticket specifically, the UBA only expects an annual emissions reduction of 0.5 to 0.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, adding up to 4.2 million tonnes by 2030.

The transport ministry, in contrast, thinks it will be more effective, expecting a cumulative emission reduction of 22.6 million tonnes until 2030 as drivers are expected to reduce car use thanks to the new option.

27 million people without access to frequent public transport

For the expert council, the transport ministry’s calculation “appears overestimated”, as it does not sufficiently consider capacity limitations of the public transport network and reduced comfort and thus attractiveness in the case of higher passenger numbers, it noted in its report.

Agora Verkehrswende, a think-tank, also argued that “especially in sparsely populated regions where there are hardly any buses and trains, the Deutschlandticket is of no help”.

Across Germany, a country with 83 million inhabitants, “about 27 million people either have no connection to public transport in their vicinity or only a few times a day,” the think-tank wrote in a statement.

Full article here.