Decarbonizing transport, an essential goal: Transport/Europe bulletin #6

The challenge of decarbonising the economy affects specifically the transport sector. With 20 to 30% of national GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions attributable to transport, the work of decarbonising this sector cannot be avoided. While the share GHG emissions attributable to transport in European countries may vary due to different energy mixes, the challenge of organising the transition to carbon neutrality in the production and consumption of transport services confronts all national public policies.

These national policies support the efforts that have been made for several years by the European Union. Since the presentation of the Green Deal at the end of 2019, the European Union has been working in particular on specifying objectives for the transport sector, identifying factors and proposing a collective framework for action with associated tools for action and assessment. European legislation is proving increasingly ambitious and is helping to generate convergence in national public policy strategies.

Two issues have now been identified by the various stakeholders involved, but they still require a great deal of engineering and economic, sociological and political consideration:

  • Transport policy can no longer be thought of without being closely linked with energy and industry issues: ever closer interaction is required between these three public policy sectors;
  • Mobility is part of the structure of our societies and lifestyles: it is unthinkable to prepare the energy transition in the transport sector without ensuring equity and social justice in access to travel services for individuals and the transport of goods. This challenge is embodied in particular in the regional and national governance of transport policies, where each country shows its specific and original characteristics that are always interesting to compare.

OPSTE newsletter #5, which was devoted to transport infrastructure planning and programming policies, already mentioned this energy transition challenge: the presentation of the draft review of the TEN-T regulation by the European Commission in December 2021 made it an unavoidable issue. Newsletter #6, which we are publishing today, was prepared in July 2022 for the first face-to-face meeting of the Observatory in more than two years and takes a closer look at the different transport policy drivers in nine countries.

The next OPSTE newsletter, to be published by January, will be devoted to the theme of « sufficiency » as defined in the English language IPCC reports.

Consult or download the Transport/Europe bulletin # 6:

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