Ministers in Amsterdam on the need for “greening” the transport2016-04-14
At an informal meeting in Amsterdam today, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Trečiokas and the other EU Ministers of Environment and Transport are discussing ways for “greening” the transport in the Community. Expected to run for two days, the meeting will also deal with issues on how to promote the use of cleaner or green vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation and marine transport.
In the EU member states, the transport sector generates one-fourth of all greenhouse gas emissions. The Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area aims at achieving the 60% GHG emission reduction target by 2050, compared to 1990 levels, and halving the use of petrol- and diesel-powered cars in urban transport by 2030 and phasing them out in cities by 2050. According to Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas, this is an effective measure in combating climate change and improving the air quality. However, in view of the growing economy, the number of vehicles is rising, urban traffic is becoming more intensive and the existing legal and financial measures are not sufficient to attain the above goals. To have fully green or clean transport, the EU member states need to implement technological innovation as soon as possible. The Ministers in Amsterdam will discuss in particular what political, financial and other measures are required to speed up this process.
According to Kęstutis Trečiokas, Lithuania takes the view that in the first place the possibilities of the EU and its member states for transition to clean transport have to be analysed in detail and examples of good practice as well as the EU and national laws and financial incentives need to be evaluated. The “greening” should largely focus on road transport. Our country has specific actions planned for this purpose. Cities are being encouraged to draw up sustainable mobility plans, and the allocation of EU support is envisioned for the development of electric car infrastructure, expansion of cycle paths and acquisition of clean public transport vehicles.
Another important topic of the meeting is the EU initiative for the global reduction of aviation and marine transport greenhouse gas emissions. The universally binding climate change agreement adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference last December lays down GHG emission reduction targets for all the sectors, with the exception of aviation and shipping. However, civil aviation is responsible for about 3% of GHG emissions, and this share is rising rapidly. In 2020, this share is expected to be even by 70% larger than in 2005. Marine transport generates 2.5% of greenhouse emissions which are likely to increase by 50-250% by 2050. During the meeting, the Ministers of Transport and Environment will discuss ways of effective collaboration to reduce world emissions from aviation and marine transport.