New European Strategy for Low Emissions in the Transport Sector
The European Commission has set out a low-emission mobility strategy in order to ensure competitiveness and to respond to increasing mobility.
The aims of the strategy are:
• To enhance efficiency of the transport system by using digital technologies (especially Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS)), smart pricing and the creation of incentive to shift to lower emission transport modes. The Commission plans to stimulate the use of technologies, in particular communication links between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. It is also working on reforming road charging, which will include common standards for a distance-based charging system in the EU. The Commission will also take further measures to improve links between different modes of transport, thereby promoting seamless logistics chains.
• To accelerate the use of low-emission alternative energy sources for transport such as biofuels and electricity by providing incentives to innovate. The Commission is also looking into better synergies between the energy and transport systems and a methodology to compare prices of conventional and alternative fuels.
• To move towards zero-emission vehicles. The Commission is working on post-2020 standards for cars and vans, which require emissions from conventional combustion engines to be further reduced after 2020.
The strategy also addresses international aviation and maritime transport as the Commission pursues global efforts to control emissions from these industries. The EU aims to use a global market mechanism to reach an agreement on international aviation emissions. This measure combined with other measures, including the recently agreed international carbon dioxide standard for new aircraft, aim for a carbon neutral growth of international aviation from 2020 onwards. The EU will review the aviation element of the EU Emission Trading System in the light of the outcome of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s General Assembly meeting this autumn. With regard to maritime transport the EU collects and reports emissions. From 2018 onwards ships using EU ports need to monitor, report and verify their emissions.
According to the European Commission the strategy should be seen as one of the tools to modernize the European economy and strengthen its internal market. As this would enhance trade and efficiency, it would be beneficial for European shippers. However, it is also important that a global level playing field is guaranteed vis-à-vis other regions in order not to threaten the competiveness of European shippers.