A fundamental transport transformation: Commission presents its plan for green, smart and affordable mobility

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Commission presented today its ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’ together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide our work for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “To reach our climate targets, emissions from the transport sector must get on a clear downward trend. Today’s strategy will shift the way people and goods move across Europe and make it easy to combine different modes of transport in a single journey. We’ve set ambitious targets for the entire transport system to ensure a sustainable, smart, and resilient return from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “As the backbone that connects European citizens and business, transport matters to us all. Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way we move, making our mobility smarter, more efficient, and also greener. We need to provide businesses a stable framework for the green investments they will need to make over the coming decades. Through the implementation of this strategy, we will create a more efficient and resilient transport system, which is on a firm pathway to reduce emissions in line with our European Green Deal goals.”

Milestones for a smart and sustainable future

All transport modes need to become more sustainable, with green alternatives widely available and the right incentives put in place to drive the transition. Concrete milestones will keep the European transport system’s journey towards a smart and sustainable future on track:

By 2030:

  • at least 30 million zero-emission cars will be in operation on European roads
  • 100 European cities will be climate neutral.
  • high-speed rail traffic will double across Europe
  • scheduled collective travel for journeys under 500 km should be carbon neutral
  • automated mobility will be deployed at large scale
  • zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready

By 2035:

  • zero-emission large aircraft will be market-ready

By 2050:

  • nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles will be zero-emission.
  • rail freight traffic will double.
  • a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high speed connectivity.

10 key areas for action to make the vision a reality

To make our goals a reality, the strategy identifies a total of 82 initiatives in 10 key areas for action (“flagships”), each with concrete measures.


For transport to become sustainable, in practice this means:

  • Boosting the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, vessels and aeroplanes, renewable & low-carbon fuels and related infrastructure – for instance by installing 3 million public charging points by 2030.
  • Creating zero-emission airports and ports – for instance through new initiatives to promote sustainable aviation and maritime fuels.
  • Making interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable – for instance by doubling high-speed rail traffic and developing extra cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years.
  • Greening freight transport – for instance by doubling rail freight traffic by 2050.
  • Pricing carbon and providing better incentives for users – for instance by pursuing a comprehensive set of measures to deliver fair and efficient pricing across all transport.


Innovation and digitalisation will shape how passengers and freight move around in the future if the right conditions are put in place. The strategy foresees:

  • Making connected and automated multimodal mobility a reality – for instance by making it possible for passengers to buy tickets for multimodal journeys and freight to seamlessly switch between transport modes.
  • Boosting innovation and the use of data and artificial intelligence (AI) for smarter mobility – for instance by fully supporting the deployment of drones and unmanned aircraft and further actions to build a European Common Mobility Data Space.


Transport has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses in the sector are seeing immense operational and financial difficulties. The Commission therefore commits to:

  • Reinforce the Single Market – for instance through reinforcing efforts and investments to complete the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) by 2030 and support the sector to build back better through increased investments, both public and private, in the modernisation of fleets in all modes.
  • Make mobility fair and just for all – for instance by making the new mobility affordable and accessible in all regions and for all passengers including those with reduced mobility and making the sector more attractive for workers.
  • Step up transport safety and security across all modes – including by bringing the death toll close to zero by 2050.


With transport contributing around 5% to EU GDP and employing more than 10 million people in Europe, the transport system is critical to European businesses and global supply chains. At the same time, transport is not without costs to our society: greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions, noise, road crashes and congestion. Today, transport emissions represent around one quarter of the EU’s total GHG emissions.

This push to transform transport comes at a time when the entire sector is still reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus. With increased public and private investment in the modernisation and greening of our fleets and infrastructure, and by reinforcing the single market, we now have a historic opportunity to make European transport not only more sustainable but more competitive globally and more resistant to any future shocks.

However, this evolution should leave nobody behind: it is crucial that mobility is available and affordable for all, that rural and remote regions remain connected, and that the sector offers good social conditions and provides attractive jobs.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Your computer can help scientists find a cure for COVID-19. Here’s how

Health Education, is it a necessity?

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

Vaccine nationalism – and how it could affect us all

South Sudan: UN condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assaults on roads to Bentiu

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

EU job-search aid worth €2 million for 500 former shipbuilding workers in Spain

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

These countries have the best work-life balance

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

‘Growing alarm’ over Fall Armyworm advance, with cash crops ‘under attack’ across Asia

Love Affair with Some(one)/(thing)

Access to ‘affordable’ medicines in India: challenges & solutions

Why sanctions are not the way to fix relations with North Korea

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

Monday’s Daily Brief: ‘Horror’ at Notre Dame fire disaster, Yemen still bleeding, measles now ‘global crisis’

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

Here’s what COVID-19 teaches us about ‘social learning’ and the environment

EU cracks under the weight of its policy on the Ukraine-Russia nub

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

Draghi repels Trump’s threats, rejects Schauble’s dictums

New EU rules to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing

Oslo leads the way in ‘Breathe Life’ campaign for cleaner cities in climate change era

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for smaller businesses to get financing through capital markets

Who holds the key to the future of biotechnology? You do

Human Rights breaches in Iran, Kazakhstan and Guatemala

African migration: what the numbers really tell us

Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’ UN envoy tells Security Council

COP21 Breaking News: “We must accelerate the process”, Laurent Fabius cries out from Paris

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

Water is a growing source of global conflict. Here’s what we need to do

Landmark terror finance resolution adopted by Security Council

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level

Palestine refugee agency chief resigns amidst mismanagement probe

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights marks its 10th anniversary

Parliament closes legal loophole to stop excessive Ukrainian chicken imports

Personalized healthcare and better population health? Here’s how digital can help achieve that

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities

10 ways regulators need to change in 2020

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

These countries have the most expensive childcare

The 5 mistakes we’re making in the fight against global energy poverty

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Utmost hypocrisy emitted by EU’s energy regulation

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

Further reforms will promote a more inclusive and resilient Indonesian economy

Hope for ‘long-elusive progress’ in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

These are the 3 key skill sets workers will need to learn by 2030

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

ITU Telecom World 2019 will take place on 9-12 September in Budapest, Hungary

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

7 ways business can be agents for peace

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s