Clean transport boosts mobility, environment, local labour markets

An electric bus during tests in Krakow, Poland, July 18, 2015. [Konrad Krajewski / Shutterstock]

Big vehicle manufacturing companies have committed to investing more in clean buses for European cities, Alain Van Gaever, DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, told a conference on clean transport in Brussels on Wednesday (27 June).

“It is also one of our policies to make sure that these buses will actually become available in the clean cities and that they will actually be able to support European jobs and growth”, he highlighted during his speech.

Sustainable urban mobility in the context of an integrated urban development strategy, along with further development of public transport are fundamental factors for a successful cleaner bus fleet in the European urban panorama.

However, any new initiative requires a good knowledge of the market and taking account of the specific conditions that define every local economy.

Investing in clean transport and the environment

For the 2021-2027 period, the Commission has set the target of investing 25% of the total budget to tackle climate change and enhance its environmental policy. This figure is increased by 5% over the current multiannual budget, thus prioritising environment-friendly infrastructures in local economies.

Moreover, in the context of InvestEU, the Union’s new, fully integrated Investment Fund, at least 50% of investment under the sustainable infrastructure policy will contribute to the strengthening of EU climate goals and the Union’s environmental impact.

Goodbye Juncker plan, hello InvestEU, Europe's new investment fund

The European Commission put forward a proposal on Wednesday (6 June) to bring all of the EU’s existing investment instruments under the banner of a new fund called “InvestEU” which will formally succeed the Juncker Plan.

With the European Investment Bank (EIB) as the main implementation partner, and in cooperation with national banks, InvestEU will integrate all centralised financial management instruments in the EU into a single, harmonised structure.

The aim is to facilitate access to funding for operational programs and simplify procedures and existing bureaucracy. With a contribution of €15.2 billion from the EU budget, more than €650 billion of additional investment is expected to be mobilised across Europe.

“Our goal is to drag others into the market. We are here to promote new things, to support EU policies”, said Per Als, senior transport specialist at the EIB.

Under the current programming period, the EU will allocate a total of €70 billion for transport (27%), and €12.4 billion specifically to boost “clean urban transport” (18%) through the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund.

This percentage covers 124 operational programmes across Europe, as well as 25 cross-border and transnational programmes.

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