NEWS

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06 September 2021

Low-carbon mobility solutions to green our future

In line with the EU’s climate neutrality target, our Programme supported several initiatives tackling the diverse challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region’s transport sector. We united our efforts to make our region more accessible, better connected and less polluted, ultimately improving the overall mobility experience in the area while protecting the environment. Read here how Interreg Go LNG, BSR electric and Sohjoa Baltic have contributed to green mobility and innovation in transport sectors in the region.

Source / Further information:
https://interreg-baltic.eu/all/low-carbon-mobility-solutions-to-green-our-future/

31 August 2021

Regional Action Plans for greening Nodes

Did you know that Western Transdanubia is the third most developed region in Hungery?

The geographical features of the region are excellent, however, the current economic features are still strongly influenced by the years of communist rule in some areas. Among other things, this also affects the current development of the transport sector. 

Within this framework, the InterGreen-Nodes team, in close cooperation with our Hungarian partners from Pannon Business Network, has analyzed the possibilities of combining road freight transport and rail transport in the Hungarian region.
This included very interesting interviews with our experts from Budapest Free Port Logistics Ltd. and KTI - Institute for Transport Sciences. 

You can read what the assessments of the current situation as well as the possibilities and advantages of switching to multimodal transport revealed in our new results report.

Report

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27 July 2021

New Urban Mobility Initiative – Open Public Consultation

To help the EU build on its 2013 Urban Mobility Package and meet its 2050 climate target, the new Urban Mobility Initiative will propose measures to encourage EU countries to develop urban transport systems that are safe, accessible, inclusive, affordable, smart, resilient and emission-free.

The initiative will also address transport pollution and congestion, and draw lessons from COVID-19’s effect on public transport to help with the transition to a climate-neutral economy and emission-free transport at local level.

The European Commission is inviting the general public and stakeholders to express their opinion on this new initiative. The Open Public Consultation (OPC) will be open for 12 weeks, closing on 23 September 21.

It can be accessed here.

More information on the open public consultation can be found here.

Source / Further information:
https://www.eltis.org/in-brief/news/new-urban-mobility-initiative-open-public-consultation

19 July 2021

Cities and Regions ready to lead the sustainable mobility revolution in Europe

In 2017, transport accounted for 27% of the EU’s CO2 emissions and emissions in the transport sector increased in both 2018 and 2019, meaning large-scale changes will be needed in order to achieve the EU’s ambitious climate goals. With the long-term goal of cutting emissions in the transport sector by 90% by 2050, the EU's Mobility Strategy is one of the main initiatives of the European Green Deal, aiming to lay the foundations for achieving the green and digital transformation objectives in the EU transport system. The strategy was proposed by the European Commission at the end of last year is and is complemented by an action plan listing concrete measures to be adopted over the next four years. Zero emission vehicles and alternative fuels infrastructure, pricing carbon with better incentives for users, and making mobility more affordable and accessible are among the key areas defined by the action plan.

Robert van Asten (NL/RE), Alderman of The Hague Municipality and rapporteur of the opinion, said: “Local and regional authorities play a crucial role in the mobility transition linking the EU Green Deal and digital transition for a more sustainable and smarter mobility. The social and inclusive aspects are key components in my report, as the mobility transition also requires a behavioural change in which the user is central. The EU can help us better link connectivity, accessibility, and health, not just by financing, but also by ensuring standardization and harmonization of EU rules. We also need to take the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans of the European Commission into account which can be an effective instrument for cooperation between different layers of government, but only if they are sufficiently flexible and match the challenges faced by cities and regions."

Ismail Ertug, member of the European Parliament, commented on the CoR's opinion: "The EU's 'Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy' is setting the course for the future of the European transport sector. The twin challenges of digitalisation and decarbonisation are a major task for the coming decades. To succeed, the European, the national and not least the regional level have to work closely together. This goes especially for infrastructural projects, whether we are talking about missing cross border links, improved railway systems or a comprehensive network of alternative fuels infrastructure."

The CoR welcomes the Mobility Strategy proposed by the European Commission but has identified several areas which can be improved on. Members especially stressed the importance of the regional dimension of the mobility strategy, as local and regional authorities play a key role in shaping European transport policy and providing mobility services and infrastructure. Given this reality, a successful mobility transition will require strong engagement from the local and regional authorities and a joint approach involving all levels of government, in line with the principle of active subsidiarity.

The opinion also points out that, apart from making transport itself more sustainable, by, for instance, expanding the use of rail rather than aviation, the mobility transition also requires a change in citizens' behaviour. Aspects, such as reducing distances and the amount of travel where possible, changing towards more active forms of mobility, such as cycling and walking, and sharing modes of transport, need to be vastly expanded in order to achieve the ambitious goal of cutting emissions in the transport sector by 90% by 2050.

Members also highlighted the absence of concrete initiatives for rural areas in the Commission's strategy despite the important role of mobility in ensuring the provision of services in rural areas with sparse infrastructure. The opinion therefore calls for more European funds and regulatory measures to help improve the mobility of citizens, especially in more sparsely populated areas.

Background information

Given its regional dimension and its importance for the European Green Deal, mobility and transport infrastructure has been identified as one of the key areas where cooperation between the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission should be enhanced.

A big part of the EU’s strategy to make transport more sustainable is the shift to rail. 2021 has been officially designated as the European Year of Rail (EYR) and the CoR has been actively involved in the EYR from the outset, working together with the Commission and organizing several local events in cooperation with CoR members. CoR President Apostolos Tzitzikostas and several other members are also expected to visit the Connecting Europe Express train along its route through 23 Member States from 2 September to 7 October.

Another key area for the CoR will be the so called "Horizon Europe Mission" to make 100 cities in Europe climate neutral by 2030. One of the first milestones towards climate neutral cities will be the "New Urban Mobility Framework" which the European Commission will present towards the end of this year. Both initiatives are key topics for the CoR and an active subsidiarity approach towards sustainable urban mobility is the key to success.

Source / Further information:

https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/mobility-revolution.aspx

 

02 July 2021

Inland waterways
Future-proofing European inland waterway transport - NAIADES III action plan

Today, the European Commission tables a 35-point action plan to boost the role of inland waterway transport in our mobility and logistics systems. The core objectives are to shift more cargo over Europe's rivers and canals, and facilitate the transition to zero-emission barges by 2050. This is in line with the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which set the goal of increasing transport by inland waterways and short sea shipping by 25% by 2030, and by 50% by 2050.

Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said: “As one of the most CO2-efficient transport modes available, inland waterways have the potential to play a central role in decarbonising our transport systems. Yet today, our canals and rivers carry just 6% of EU freight. With an inland waterway network of 41,000km spanning 25 Member States, there is scope to do a lot more; both along our TEN-T corridors and in inner cities, where inland waterways can help to green the last mile of city logistics.”

The new action plan will put in place the conditions for the inland waterway transport sector to better seize the opportunities linked to the shift towards a zero-emission and digital economy. Among the actions proposed is the revision of the Combined Transport Directive, which, along with support for investments towards transshipment capacity and inland multimodal terminals, will enable the greater integration of inland waterways into a modern, trans-European intermodal transport system. The action plan also includes measures to accelerate and stimulate investments towards the development and deployment of innovative, zero-emission and zero-waste technologies for vessels and inland ports, and helping the sector keep up with digital developments. This will be key to ensuring its long-term sustainability and competitiveness, while opening up attractive new job opportunities for a skilled workforce.

The Commission is proposing actions in the following areas:


Shifting more freight to inland waterways

The Commission will help inland waterway managers to ensure a high level of service (Good Navigation Status) along EU inland waterway corridors by 31 December 2030. The upcoming revision of the Combined Transport Directive will fully integrate inland waterways as an essential component of intermodal transport. The Commission will also establish an EU framework for measuring and report emissions from logistics and transport. This could increase demand for more sustainable options, including inland waterways where feasible.


Transition to zero-emission inland waterway transport

Compared to other land-based modes of transport, inland waterway transport is energy-efficient, safe, almost congestion-free and silent. The Commission will propose measures to encourage investment in zero-emission and zero-waste technologies for inland vessels and inland ports and will also support research and innovation.

Smart inland waterway transport

New measures to help the inland waterway transport sector to keep up with digital developments and improve competitiveness are included in the proposal. Both will help the sector become an active part of broader multimodal chains. Further digitalisation can play a significant role in improving the efficiency and reliability of navigation and traffic management, better integrating inland waterway transport in logistics processes and multimodal chains, and reducing the administrative burden and costs of complying with and enforcing legislation.

More attractive and sustainable jobs in inland waterway transport

The inland waterways sector relies on a skilled workforce. The proposed actions will ensure smart and flexible EU crewing rules and provide inland vessel crews with the right skills to deal with the green and digital transitions, cyber-security, synchromodality and the automation of vessels and infrastructure.

Source / Further information:
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/inland/news/2021-06-24-naiades-iii-action-plan_en

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