Transport in the European Green Deal

This special issue of Network Industries Quarterly is dedicated to the European Green Deal and its implications for the transport sector. In its long-term decarbonisation strategy ‘A Clean Planet for All,’ the European Commission paints a clear picture of the vast transformations that will have to take place across all sectors of the economy for Europe to become climate neutral by 2050. In its subsequent European Green Deal, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reinforces this ambition and pledges to enshrine the climate neutrality objective into legislation.

For transport, which accounts for a quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions, achieving the climate neutrality objectives will require a 90% reduction of the sector’s emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, with sizeable contributions across all modes. Our invited contributors take a closer look at the concrete examples of rail, aviation, intermodal transport and Mobility-as-a-Service solutions, as well as at the increasing coupling and interdependence between the transport and the energy sectors.

The first contribution, authored by van Baal and Finger, introduces the concept of the ‘energy-mobility system’, underpinned by the electrification of transport services,  and discusses the need for an integrated approach to policy and governance, especially for successfully managing the sustainability transition.

Haunold emphasises the need for a level playing field between all modes of transport as a key precondition to the achievement of the European Green Deal objectives. She argues that rail transport ought to be placed at the core all of initiatives undertaken in the transport sector, including capital expenditure, financing, funding and subsidy systems, given that it represents the most climate-friendly mode of mass transport in the EU.

Arnold attempts to provide a legal basis and puts forward some ideas for advancing the propositions of von der Leyen’s European Green Deal in relation to the aviation sector. He argues that if there is leadership at the EU level, undisputed priorities and concepts based on the right legal basis and clear information, innovative policies may be developed to meet the challenges we are facing.

Serafimova discusses the current challenges to urban mobility and argues that the Covid-19 pandemic may, in fact, serve as an opportunity for the advancement of the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) ecosystem and the demonstration of its true value in supporting the Commission’s Green Deal objectives.

Read the full issue in Open Access.

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