The transport sector represents more than one-third of final energy consumption in the EU and almost a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions since it’s mainly powered by fossil fuels. The emissions are continuing to rise, compared to other sectors that have achieved emission reductions since 1990. In line with the Green Deal targets, the transport sector needs to cut emissions by 90% by 2050. The transition to a greener and smarter mobility system has already begun, but it needs to happen faster in order to guarantee clean, accessible and affordable transport and in all parts of Europe. For the EU, it is imperative to shift towards sustainable transport on the road to a net-zero future.
For all forms of transport – road, rail, aviation, and waterborne – technical innovations exist and a shift towards the most efficient modes of transport can easily contribute to the emission reduction efforts. Making the best use out of the electrification options and digital technologies available today can help increase efficiency and reduce the energy demand of the transport system. More importantly, shifting towards the low-emission alternative energy for transport – advanced biofuels, electricity, hydrogen and renewable synthetic fuels – especially in freight and aviation transport can make a great difference in such hard-to-abate sectors.
Sustainable transport is also closely integrated with the individual, societal and company behaviour and the changes in attitudes which has been even more apparent during the pandemic. Encouraging the use of low emitting transport options is one of the areas energy agencies can set the example on, to show that it is possible to change habits without too much effort.