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European Commissioner for Environment Calls for More Sustainable Transport Systems

11 October 2012: In a speech delivered at the Congress of European Advisory Council on Transport and Environment in Rotterdam, Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, emphasized that a shift towards a more sustainable transport system is imperative not only as a response to increased resource scarcities, but also in response to the impact of transport on human health and the environment.

He noted that the European Commission agrees with the principle of the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Council's (EEAC) network that current trends in production, consumption, trade and economic development are linked to the unsustainable use of natural resources. For these reasons, he said, the the European Commission published its 2011 "Roadmap to a single European transport area and towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system," emphasizing the need for a more competitive and sustainable transport system.

Potočnik noted that the Roadmap outlines policy responses to some of the most urgent challenges the transport sector is facing as well 40 concrete initiatives to address them, including by cutting 60% of carbon emissions by 2050. He noted that some of the policy recommendations include: a shift to electric, hydrogen and hybrid cars; 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation by introducing cleaner engines, design and shift to sustainable fuels; and a reduction of at least 40% in shipping emissions through operational and technical measures.

Finally, he identified better implementation of EU environmental legislation and  innovation for sustainable growth as key remaining areas of action. [Europa Press Release]