ESC supports Commission’s climate policy to improve sustainability in European transport

Brussels, 4 March 2020, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans presented the framework for achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.

ESC welcomes the European Commission’s harmonized approach to climate policy as an opportunity to improve the European transport market by tackling bottlenecks on the rail, road, and air modes. The present Commission’s proposals serve to align national climate plans. In addition, the content is in line with the plans outlined in the European Green Deal.

The European Climate Law sets the timetable for making Europe CO2 neutral in 2050. The bill also focuses on monitoring the consistency of the plans that the Member States draw up and, if necessary, ensures that these plans are adjusted in case they fail to contribute to the objectives. In addition, the current objectives are reviewed every 5 years.

Achieving the climate target through the European Green Deal is an ambitious plan and can be achieved if the European internal transport market is actually improved and harmonized. Only in this way trading and production companies will become able to contribute in an efficient and competitive way.

An important objective within the Green Deal is to move a significant amount of transport movements from road transport to barge and rail or combined transport, to make road transport more efficient, and to reform the Single European Sky.

To achieve a modal shift, the European rail safety system must finally be harmonized. Further on, the cross-border authorization of the European Modular System (Ecocombi) and the abolition of the obligatory “return home” vehicle provision from the Mobility Package is also necessary for more efficient road freight transport flows. The introduction of the Single European Sky is an absolute necessity for air freight transport.

The plans for the European Climate Act will be discussed in the European Parliament next week. They will also be discussed in the European Council. The elaboration of the proposals for the European Green Deal is foreseen for this and the following year.

The European Climate Law provides a framework for improvement and sustainability of the transport market. For more information, please see here.