The transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions currently represent as much as a quarter of the EU’s total emissions, and unlike other sectors, emissions are still on the rise. By 2050, emissions from transport need to decrease by 90%. How will transport contribute to meeting the EU’s target of at least -55% emissions reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050?

The transition to a greener and smarter mobility system has already begun. Still, it needs to be accelerated to guarantee clean, accessible and affordable transport and logistics solutions to all Europeans, connecting rural and remote regions. A successful green transport transition will provide new economic opportunities, and generate social and environmental benefits, including the reduction of air and noise pollution and their negative impacts on our health, in addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The success of the European Green Deal depends on our ability to make the transport system more sustainable. Each mode needs to play its part and contribute its fair share to the targets set in the European Climate Law. To achieve this, the Commission proposes today:

  • revision of the CO2 standards for cars and vans accelerates the production and sales of low and zero-emissions vehicles. It puts road transport on a firm path to zero-emission mobility in 2050. CO2 standards are an effective tool to ensure that more affordable, zero-emission cars and vans enter the market.
  • A new EU Regulation on RefuelEU Aviation, supporting a swift transition from fossil fuels towards sustainable fuels in air transport. The proposal will make air travel greener and will allow EU citizens to enjoy the benefits of flying more responsibly. It will ensure that increasing levels of sustainable aviation fuels will be available at EU airports and will require all airlines to uplift them before departure. The proposal contains ambitious mandatory targets and focuses on the most innovative and sustainable aviation fuels, notably synthetic fuels, achieving as high as 80% or 100% emissions savings compared to fossil fuels. 
  • A new FuelEU Maritime proposal stimulates the uptake of sustainable maritime fuels and zero-emission marine propulsion technologies by setting a maximum limit on the greenhouse gas content of energy used by ships calling at European ports. 
  • A proposal for an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, replacing the current Directive, ensures that the greening of our transport fleets is supported by adequate recharging and refuelling infrastructure. This will allow drivers to easily charge or refuel their electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across the EU. It will also ensure that aircraft, ships and barges have access to electricity supply in major ports and airports. In addition, hydrogen refuelling stations will be deployed for light, but also heavy-duty vehicles. This Regulation will guarantee that in each Member State, sufficient public charging capacity will be in place to meet the demands of the bigger fleet of zero-emission cars that will come to market, including under the revised CO2 standards. It will also ensure EU-wide coverage of charging infrastructure at fixed intervals along significant transport corridors. The Renovation Wave and the upcoming proposal on the energy performance of buildings will further boost the supply of private chargers at home or work. 
  • The Commission is also proposing to apply emissions trading to new sectors where stronger reductions are needed to reach the 2030 target. Under the proposal, emissions from maritime activities will be included in the EU ETS. To boost the sustainability of air travel, the ETS for aviation will be strengthened. Allowances allocated to airlines for free will be phased out over time. The EU will also apply the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s scheme, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to international flights, thereby offsetting aviation emissions that go beyond 2019 levels. Emissions from road transport fuels will be covered by a new, separate emissions trading system incentivising fuel producers to provide cleaner fuels for cars and trucks, including internal combustion engine cars that will stay on the roads. To address the social impact of this new emissions trading on roads, the Commission has also presented a Climate Action Social Facility proposal. 
  • Other measures in the overall package also support the shift to clean mobility. The revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) increases the mandatory share of renewable transport fuels. With the increased emission reduction objective under the Effort Sharing Regulation, Member States will have to do more at the national level to decarbonise transport. Through the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive, transport fuels will be taxed to remove obstacles for the deployment of renewables, and current exemptions for fossil fuels that amount to effective subsidies will be removed.

Source: European Commission