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European Commission publishes Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy - 3 Key Takeaways

European Commission publishes Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy - 3 Key Takeaways

By Mark Watts

Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Adina Vălean presented the new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide their work for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

We’ll be tracking the strategy in the coming months, as those 82 proposals, many legislative, are prepared and published.

Milestones in the strategy:

By 2030:

  • at least 30 million zero-emission cars will be in operation on European roads
  • 100 European cities will be climate neutral.
  • high-speed rail traffic will double across Europe
  • scheduled collective travel for journeys under 500 km should be carbon neutral
  • automated mobility will be deployed at large scale
  • zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready

By 2035

  • zero-emission large aircraft will be market-ready

By 2050

  • nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles will be zero-emission.
  • rail freight traffic will double.
  • a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high speed connectivity.

3 Key takeaways from the new Strategy

1) Every transport sector has to decarbonise, including aviation and maritime, but private cars carry the burden until 2030. Real reductions only after 2030 for other modes.

C02 emisssions from transport, now, 2030 and 2050

2) Hydrogen is not the silver bullet to decarbonising transport, European Commission advocating a ‘basket of fuels and technologies’ approach, with a lot of reliance of liquid biofuels, e-liquids, bio-methane and natural gas.

3) Massive increases in investment required to fund this transformation, extra EUR 130 billion per year for infrastructure and vehicles, EUR 100 billion per year for digital transformation and to complete the TEN-T core network. Not clear where that extra money will come from.

Watch the video for more information.
Mark Watts is Director of LP Brussels and a former two-term Member of the European Parliament. He has been advising organisations and businesses on EU transport, energy and environment policy for over sixteen years. He writes in a personal capacity.
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