Decarbonising transport strategy for Europe unveiled

The European Commission has announced its sustainable and smart mobility strategy as part of its action plan for the next four years.

The strategy lays out the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As originally outlined in the European Green Deal, it believes a 90% cut in emissions by 2050 can be achieved through a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

The plan includes 30 million zero emission vehicles by 2030 with 100 European cities being climate neutral. It also includes plans to double high-speed rail across Europe by the end of the decade; all scheduled 500km journeys should be carbon-neutral; and zero emission marine to be “market-ready”.

By 2035, the plan calls for zero emission large aircraft to be market-ready and by 2050 for “nearly” all vehicles – including heavy-duty – to be zero emission. Additionally, there should be a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high speed connectivity.

In order to meet the goals, the strategy included a list of 82 initiatives in 10 key areas with concrete measures, including installation of three million public chargepoints by 2030; zero emission airports and ports; doubling rail and greening freight transport; and improving active travel.

Smart innovations and digitalisation were also included in the plan with connectivity for multi-modal journeys and the use of AI and data being critical to meeting targets.

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “To reach our climate targets, emissions from the transport sector must get on a clear downward trend. Today’s strategy will shift the way people and goods move across Europe and make it easy to combine different modes of transport in a single journey. We’ve set ambitious targets for the entire transport system to ensure a sustainable, smart, and resilient return from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “As the backbone that connects European citizens and business, transport matters to us all. Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way we move, making our mobility smarter, more efficient, and also greener. We need to provide businesses a stable framework for the green investments they will need to make over the coming decades. Through the implementation of this strategy, we will create a more efficient and resilient transport system, which is on a firm pathway to reduce emissions in line with our European Green Deal goals.”

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