EU Transport Committee Stresses the Need for Visibility of Transport at COP21

The European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism recently sent an opinion to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety entitled Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris”.

The Transport Committee’s opinion called on the Environment Committee to ensure that transport is well integrated in a possible COP21 resolution.

The transport committee suggested that such a motion:

Welcome the Commission communication and the objectives of the EU’s contribution to the COP21 Climate Conference to be held in Paris in December 2015; stress the need for both the Commission and the Member States to enhance the visibility of the transport sector throughout the conference, with reference inter alia to initiatives such as the ‘Agenda of Solutions’, and to play a leading role in achieving a transparent and binding international agreement, recognizing the role of non-state actors; invite the Commission to actively support initiatives in the field of sustainable urban mobility and public transport in the framework of the conference

The transport committee stresses the need to reduce GHG’s from the transport sector stating “transport is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions have continued to grow (by 30 % over the last 25 years)”and that keeping within the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) limit of 2 degrees warming would require and can “only be reached with binding GHG reduction targets, together with the full integration of renewables into the market, a technologically neutral approach to decarbonisation, and a more fully integrated transport and investment policy that incorporates modal shift policies together with technological advancement as well as transport avoidance (e.g. through sustainable logistics, smart urban planning and integrated mobility management)”.

In terms of priorities, the transport committee notes, “Improving the energy efficiency of transport should be one of the top priorities of European transport policy” and that there is a need for “the Commission to take the measures needed to strongly promote public transport, shared mobility solutions and walking and cycling possibilities, especially in densely populated areas, and to make proposals to improve EU regulation, if needed, in order to promote multimodality and new mobility and logistics services”. This should be backed up by “adequate EU financial instruments and investment funding, including Climate funds, for those projects in the transport sector which will have a positive environmental impact”.

The committee concludes its opinion by stating, “that the EU needs to play its leadership role responsibly, and acknowledges that if its ambition and goals are not shared in other regions of the world the EU’s competitiveness could be hampered”.

This adherence by the transport committee of EU on the need for ‘sustainable urban mobility and public transport’ bodes well for the transport community and city life in general.

The EU Committee on Transport and Tourism’s opinion can be downloaded here.