EU Forum

EU Integration

EU Transition towards green and smart mobility

15 Apr 2016 - 13:05
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With this report the authors aim to provide input for discussion at the informal EU interministerial meeting of Ministers of Transport and Environment in Amsterdam on April 14, 2016. This meeting is part of the programme the Netherlands’ government is organizing in its presidency role of the EU Council during the first half of 2016. The leading theme for the informal Amsterdam meetings of transport and environment Ministers is innovation. 

Trailer interministerial meeting of Ministers of Transport and Environment in Amsterdam on April 14, 2016. 

In the informal inter-ministerial session the Ministers exchanged views in an innovative format, according to a so-called Scenario Based Policy Discussion concept. During this session, Ministers focussed on the way in which they can contribute to a transition towards smart and sustainable mobility in the EU and its member states, and on which short-term action is needed in order to realize a competitive, zero-emission transport sector in the long term.
The report is based on a number of assumptions. Given long-term developments and trends, the transport sector faces challenges to maintain its competiveness in the long term, on both national, continental and intercontinental scales. The sector’s emissions are an important contributor to climate change, global warming and the deterioration of local air quality. In order to reduce emissions and to achieve the global and European climate change ambitions, a greater sense of urgency is needed. More drastic measuresare required, particularly in the transportation sector. ‘Business-as-usual’ on the basis of standing policies will not be enough.
Therefore, the authors of this report propose an innovative longer-term integrated approach by both the EU, member states, local authorities and other stakeholders, applying the full potential of innovations in the technological domain as well as regarding governance instruments.
This innovation potential refers in particular to three arenas, which are expanded upon in this report:
a. The use of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS)
b. Innovation regarding the reduction of transport emissions
c. New instruments for financing investments in sustainable transport
By exploring and fully exploiting the potential for innovation in these three arenas, the EU and its member states can provoke a ‘green revolution’ in the transport sector and in this manner contribute to smarter and more sustainable mobility, while remaining competitive at the same time.
The authors identify options for public policy action to unleash the innovation potential in the three arenas in a ‘Toolbox for Action’; an array of policy instruments from which Ministers can ‘pick and choose’.
The focus of this report is on the medium and longer term, making a distinction between the period until 2030-2035 and the period thereafter. During the first period, further intensification of existing policies is needed. However, even during this period, steps should already be taken in order to create a zero-emission transport sector beyond 2030-2035. The main focus of this report is on transport by road and rail, both private and public.