The European Union defines its vision for transport

The European Union defines its vision for transport

This photo shows an aerial view of the roads in Bavaria, Germany, at night.

Mallurney | Moment | Getty Images

The European Union has announced a new large-scale transport plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions over the next three decades and focusing on emerging technologies such as drones and hydrogen aircraft.

The European Commission, the implementing arm of the European Union, presented the “Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy” on Wednesday.

According to the commission, its strategy is to make Europe’s transport system “sustainable, smart and resilient”. Seen as a critical component of the European Union’s desire to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.

By 2030, the goals of the strategy include: At least 30 million zero-emissions cars on the road; Zero-emission “market-ready” ships; Deploy at scale for automated navigation. Other goals for the next decade include developing more bike infrastructure.

By 2035, you want “zero-emission big jets” to be market-ready. Moreover, the commission says that “nearly all cars, vans, buses, and new heavy vehicles will be emissions-free” by the middle of this century, while rail freight traffic will double.

“By implementing this strategy, we will create a more efficient and flexible transportation system, which is on a steady path to reducing emissions, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal,” Transport Commissioner Adina Vallian said in a statement. Wednesday.

The European Green Deal signals the European Commission’s comprehensive plan for the European Union to be climate neutral by 2050.

Among other things, the strategy released on Wednesday focuses on innovation and emerging technology.

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It states that the European Union “will create favorable conditions for the development of new technologies and services, and all necessary legislative tools to verify their validity.”

“We can expect the emergence and wider use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) for commercial applications, autonomous vehicles, hyperloops, hydrogen airplanes, personal electric aerial vehicles, hydroelectric transport and clean urban logistics in the near future,” he adds.

Challenges and criticism

While the authorities in Europe have been keen to operationalize the strategy and emphasize the potential implications of its goals, some environmental organizations have offered a different view.

Greenpeace said in a statement in response to the plans that the commission’s proposal “does not propose setting a target to reduce air travel or the number of privately owned cars.”

While it does indicate that “mass travel” (for example, by air, rail and bus) in the European Union will be carbon neutral by 2030, it falls short of binding measures, such as banning short-haul flights where there are It is a greener alternative like the railroad. ” It also failed to set a deadline for selling new cars with internal combustion engines.

Elsewhere, the European Cycling Federation, the Cycling Industries of Europe and the European Cycling Industry Federation made what they described as a “cautious welcome” “positive statements about cycling.”

They stated that it takes “a lot of work” “to define how more ambitious change can be introduced into the committee’s work plans.”

The associations continued to express their regret that the strategy “has not yet defined specific parameters for cycling as a means of transportation in the transportation system in the future, nor does it include specific and clear measures to increase the absorption of bicycles in their work plan.”

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