Sustainable and smart mobility. The Council’s conclusions

Despite the many benefits for its users, mobility entails several costs for the society such as, amongst others, greenhouse gas emissions, air, noise and water pollution, road crashes and biodiversity loss. Since reducing emissions offers great opportunities for better quality of life and for European industry to modernise, thereby strengthening the Union’s competitiveness, on 3 June 2021 the Council adopted conclusions welcoming the Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which aims to create the sustainable system of the future and to bring about the fundamental changes needed to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal

More particularly, in order to reach a climate-neutral Union by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement, and in parallel with a shift to more sustainable modes, all transports should contribute to a substantial reduction in the sector’s emissions by 2030 and by 2050 in a way that preserves their competitiveness. In this regard, all Member States should participate in the efforts to achieve the emission reduction targets, taking into account considerations of fairness and solidarity as well as their specific national situation.

Furthermore, according to the Council an update of the European legislative framework is needed in order to reduce the consumption of and dependence on fossil fuels and to facilitate the placing on the market and the take-up of alternative propulsion systems, which may provide effective solutions for the transition towards a greener mobility.

Finally, since digitalisation and the promotion of innovation in green technologies are key driving forces behind the long-term global competitiveness of the European transport system, the Council recalled the importance of research and innovation activities in cooperative connected and automated mobility in order to reinforce the sustainability and resilience of the transport’s sector. Despite aiming to become more sustainable, digitalised and automated, however, the transport and mobility system should remain human-centric, promoting availability and accessibility to all and eliminating inequalities between users.

Marco Stillo