Green Deal & "Fit for 55":
EU transport policy takes important steps, but needs better planning
Brussels, 17 December 2021.The EAC (European Automobile Clubs), Europe's association of six automobile clubs from four countries looks with hope but also with scepticism at the latest EU proposals on the transformation of the transport sector. The plans rightly formulate ambitious goals. However, the goals lack the necessary realism and a solid strategy for implementation. and a solid strategy for implementation. The EAC has discussed this in a digital exchange with the German European politician and Vice-Chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) in the Parliament, Jens Gieseke (EPP, MEP).
New route network for multimodal city connections
The EAC welcomes the commitment of European policy to a socially acceptable change in transport. In principle, the latest proposals of the EU Commission set the right course for a new European mobility. In the future, rail and inland waterway transport are to transport significantly more passengers and goods. For example, faster European rail connections are to be created as an attractive alternative to short-haul flights of less than 500 kilometres. We also welcome the development of a trans-European network TEN with multimodal city connections, which would, for example, link motorways with fast charging stations. Social hardship caused by rising prices for car prices for car transport or mobility in general are to be cushioned by a climate fund.
Gieseke: "Plans are half-baked"
However, the social climate fund in particular reveals serious weaknesses in the EU's concept. Policy Officer Gerrit Reichel explains on behalf of the EAC: "So far, it is completely unclear how and to whom this money should be disbursed. Above all, however, the climate fund would not be necessary if the transformation of the transport sector excluded unilateral burdens for the citizens of the EU member states from the start.” As an example, Reichel cites the idea that all journeys of less than 500 kilometres should be climate-neutral by 2030. "We will not be able to achieve this ambitious achieve this ambitious goal if important connections are not completed until 2040, as the EU itself is aiming for."
Jens Gieseke states with reference to the climate fund: "This fund is half-baked. We are far from being able to provide the 72.2 billion euros planned, let alone being able to disburse it. In the transport sector we cannot make everything more expensive, drive up the price of CO2 and outdo each other when it comes to who can ban the internal combustion car the fastest. Doing this we are overtightening the regulatory screw. We need better planning and more pragmatism, so that we don't have to redistribute the money afterwards."
Gieseke suggests to include synthetic fuels in the CO2 fleet limit values. Thus, vehicles whose carbon footprint has been demonstrably compensated for over their entire life cycle with renewable fuels over their entire lifetime should be able to be recognised as "climate neutral", just like electric vehicles.
The EU's Green Deal of 2019 sets out the strategy for achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This paper was supplemented in 2021 by a package of measures called "Fit for 55" with recommendations for a significant reduction of climate gases by 2030.