Environment

Europe in the driver’s seat for global shift to clean transport

05/03/2018

The Clean Mobility Package is the latest in a series of proposals aimed at reinforcing the European Union’s global leadership in sustainable transport. According to Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, “The global race to develop clean cars is on”.

Following the Paris Agreement, there is renewed momentum worldwide for the transition to low-carbon economies. With around a fifth of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from road transport, clean mobility is a priority for EU policymakers. The European Commission has made a series of policy proposals for greener transport in Europe, most recently the Clean Mobility Package.

The global race to develop clean cars is on. Europe has to get its house in order to drive and lead this global shift.

Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete

This was the second major mobility package tabled in 2017. The first, Europe on the Move, includes proposals to address road safety, smart road charging, congestion, air pollution, CO2 emissions and working conditions.

The packages followed the European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility, adopted in June 2016, which outlined actions to keep Europe competitive in the sector and responsive to growing demand for transporting people and goods. Investment and innovation in sustainable road transport are under way in many parts of the world, particularly in zero- and low-emission vehicles, with China introducing mandatory sales quota from 2019 and California and nine other US states strengthening existing requirements. The EU risks falling behind in this global race and cannot afford to play catch-up.

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The Clean Mobility Package notably includes new CO2 emission standards for cars and vans: average emissions from new passenger cars and vans in the EU must be 15 % lower in 2025 and 30 % lower in 2030 than in 2021. A flexible, technology-neutral incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles is also proposed to encourage manufacturers to innovate.

The package includes a Clean Vehicles Directive, a revision of the Combined Transport Directive, a Directive on Passenger Coach Services and an action plan and investment solutions for alternative fuels infrastructure. Furthermore, a new EU initiative supports battery production in Europe, a strategically important issue.

The proposals aim to contribute to EU climate and energy targets, cutting fuel costs and boosting competitiveness and jobs. Significant benefits of their implementation include a reduction of 170 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to annual emissions from Austria and Greece) between 2020 and 2030, better air quality, consumer fuel savings of around EUR 18 billion annually, up to 70 000 new jobs, and lowering Europe’s annual oil import bill by around EUR 6 billion. 

Commenting on the Clean Mobility Package, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The global race to develop clean cars is on. Europe has to get its house in order to drive and lead this global shift. Today, we are investing in Europe and cracking down on pollution to meet our Paris Agreement pledge to cut our emissions by at least 40 % by 2030.”

 

Climate action