Emission-free mobility: How will Europe reach its targets?

Decarbonising transport is a core theme of the EU 2020 strategy. The long-term objective of the European Union on CO2 emissions is an overall reduction of 80-95% by 2050.

The leading position of the EU transport sector in the world is not cast in stone. A long-term strategy is needed to fully meet the energy demand of the transport sector from alternative and sustainable sources by 2050. This is the objective of the EU’s Clean Transport Systems (CTS) initiative.

Mobility systems in general and transportation in particular are undergoing profound transformations. They are expected to evolve more in the next 10 years than they have in the past 50. The EU faces a combination of challenges. Transport will fuel the modernisation of the economy and is a key source of European employment, but it also tops the ranking of polluters. The EU can show that modernising the economy and addressing climate change go hand in hand.

Some stakeholders argue it should start with incentivising the low-emission transition in the transport sector. A successful sustainable mobility strategy requires a systemic approach which acts at the intersection between technology, infrastructure financing, multi-modal mobility, and public-private partnerships. This implies coherence between mutually reinforcing policies such as climate, energy, transport, circular economy, industrial competitiveness, and research and innovation.

EURACTIV organised this high-level EURACTIV Forum to understand what action is required to achieve a carbon-neutral mobility sector and to reach the EU’s 2030 and 2050 targets. Is there a single solution or do we need to look at a mix of solutions such as: deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport; electrification of transport; hybrid vehicles; battery technology; new lightweight materials; digital and connected vehicles technologies; interoperable infrastructure; data analysis?

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