Kid with no car signCan he look forward to a future with no gas-powered cars?Photo: Alison OddyThe European Union has just announced an ambitious transportation goal: the elimination of gas-powered cars in its cities by 2050. It’s part of a plan that aims to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources:

A new European transport plan [PDF] aims to increase mobility and further integrate the EU’s transport networks — while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the bloc’s dependence on imported oil.

Measures to encourage major infrastructure investments, change the way freight moves and people travel would boost economic competitiveness and create jobs.

The plan — with goals to be met by 2050 — focuses on travel within cities and between cities, and on long distance journeys. It includes calls for:

  • cities to completely phase out petrol cars
  • shifting to rail or water 50% of all passenger and freight road transport currently making intercity journeys of more than 300km
  • airlines to increase their use of sustainable low-carbon fuels to 40%
  • shipping to cut 40% off its carbon emissions.

Reaching these targets would help the EU achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gases from all modes of transport by 2050.

But according to AutoGuide.com, the United Kingdom is having none of it:

U.K.’s Transport minister Norman Baker says these choices should be made by individual cities, based on their needs and agenda, and not as a collective agreement. He added by saying, “We will not be banning cars from city centers anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas.”

And this from The Telegraph:

The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a “crazy” restriction on mobility.

“I suggest that [Slim Kallas, EU transport commissioner] 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.”

According to UPI, environmentalists are criticizing the plan from the other side:

[C]ritics indicated they were not happy with the pace of the cuts.

“The Commission plans to cut emissions by just 1 percent a year until 2030, and then just 5 percent a year after than,” said Jos Digs of the group Transport & Environment.

Digs said putting off action and relying on future technological breakthroughs was “a completely flawed strategy.”

The haters couldn’t stop the E.U. from producing this vague, futuristic video to go with the new transport plan. Watch as all that white paper is transformed into a shiny-clean mobility utopia.