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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Transport 2050: Commission outlines ambitious plans

The European Commission today released a comprehensive strategy (Transport 2050) for a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals will dramatically reduce Europe’s dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.

To achieve this will require a transformation in Europe’s current transport system. By 2050, key goals will include:

  • No more conventionally fuelled cars in cities.
  • 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least 40% cut in shipping emissions.
  • A 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport.
  • All of which will contribute to a 60% cut in transport emissions by the middle of the century.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport said, “Transport 2050 is a roadmap for a competitive transport sector that increases mobility and cuts emissions. We can and we must do both. The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true.

“Competitive transport systems are vital for Europe’s ability to compete in the world, for economic growth, job creation and for people’s everyday quality of life. Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win–win.”

The Transport 2050 roadmap to a Single European Transport Area sets out to remove major barriers and bottlenecks in many key areas across the fields of: transport infrastructure and investment, innovation and the internal market.

The aim is to create a Single European Transport Area with more competition and a fully integrated transport network which links the different modes and allows for a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers and freight. To this purpose, the roadmap puts forward 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade.

The Transport 2050 roadmap sets different goals for different types of journey – within cities, between cities, and long distance.

  • For intercity travel: 50% of all medium-distance passenger and freight transport should shift off the roads and onto rail and waterborne transport.
  • By 2050, the majority of medium-distance passenger transport, about 300km and beyond, should go by rail.
  • By 2030, 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport, and more than 50% by 2050.
  • Deliver a fully functional and EU-wide core network of transport corridors, ensuring facilities for efficient transfer between transport modes (TEN-T core network) by 2030, with a high-quality high-capacity network by 2050 and a corresponding set of information services.
  • By 2050, connect all core network airports to the rail network, preferably high-speed; ensure that all core seaports are sufficiently connected to the rail freight and, where possible, inland waterway system.
  • By 2020, establish the framework for a European multimodal transport information, management and payment system, both for passengers and freight.
  • Move towards full application of “user pays” and “polluter pays” principles and private sector engagement to eliminate distortions, generate revenues and ensure financing for future transport investments.


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