In December, the European Commission adopted several proposals that put the transport sector on track for a 90% reduction in carbon emissions, moving a step further in implementing the European Green Deal. The initiatives seek to increase rail transport, encouraging long-distance and cross-border rail travel, support the roll-out of charging points for electric vehicles and alternative refuelling infrastructure and further develop multimodality.
The set of proposals envisions the development and modernization of the TEN-T network, a set of rail routes, inland waterways and roads that connect 424 major cities across the EU. This entails the provision of new links, such as new high-speed rail connections, to be completed by 2040. At the same time, the EU's plan requires all 424 cities in the TEN-T network to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans "to promote zero-emission mobility and to increase and improve public transport and infrastructure for walking and cycling."
Europe's green and digital transition will bring big changes to the ways we move around. Today's proposals set European mobility on track for a sustainable future: faster European rail connections with easy-to-find tickets and improved passenger rights, support for cities to increase and improve public transport and infrastructure for walking and cycling, and making the best possible use of solutions for smart and efficient driving - Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal.
This new package will help decrease pollution and traffic congestion across EU cities to meet the goal of a 55% decrease in car emissions by 2030. While many cities have started prioritizing cyclists and pedestrians since the start of the pandemic, and the EU has tripled the amount of spending on cycling and walking projects in recent years, this set of proposals translates sustainable urban mobility into a priority across the bloc.
This is the second package supporting cleaner and more sustainable transport, following the Commission's Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy in December 2020. This year, the Commission will develop a Recommendation to the EU Member States for the development of national plans that would assist cities in creating their mobility plans