Low-emission transport is crucial for a sustainable economic and social model, say S&Ds

low emission

The transport sector is responsible for almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is why the European Union must make an irreversible shift to a low-emission mobility if we want to seriously reverse climate change and comply with the UN Paris Climate Agreement.

Today, we defeated the conservatives in the European Parliament in a vote which calls for an ambitious strategy to achieve a low-emission mobility based on three pillars: improving efficiency of the transport system, scaling up the use of alternative energy and moving towards zero-emission vehicles. 


S&D spokesperson on transport, Ismail Ertug MEP, said:

“Changing our transport system is crucial to move towards a sustainable economic and social model. It is feasible, but it requires a long-term strategy, with specific incentives and new legislation.

“One of the overall goals is to encourage a behavioural change in the use of transport, which must be accompanied by less pollutant options. Therefore, alternative fuel infrastructure must be deployed: hydrogen, natural gas, and also improving accessibility to charging if we want electric cars to be an option for drivers.

"We see how cities are struggling with pollution and traffic, and it is clear that more needs to be done to promote clean public transport. We must encourage innovation to support them and also contribute to a clean air strategy in their mobility plans.”


S&D spokesperson on this file, Karoline Graswander-Hainz MEP, said:

“We believe that two principles should apply in any upcoming legislation: the polluter pays and the user pays. It is only fair that the price for any choice of mobility reflects the consequential cost it entails for society and our environment. In short, this report calls once more for a level playing field for different transport modes. As socialists we emphasise that a well-functioning and affordable public transport system must become a cornerstone of sustainable transport accessible to everyone.

“Technology and innovation provide for alternatives of which the EU and its citizens can benefit: digitalization in sustainable mobility and intelligent transport systems are only two examples.

“Lastly, we want a more ambitious proposal for the combined transport directive to promote efficient freight transport and a shift towards rail and inland waterways: the report re-instates the importance of modal shift goals referring to ambitions already formulated in the Commission's transport white paper of 2011 and Parliament's respective resolution of 2015.”