European ‘green deal’ for new mobility
The European Ministers have agreed that cities have to become places where moving on foot, or using a bicycle or public transport is the most evident, comfortable, affordable and safe choice. It’s the first time the European leaders come with such a commitment, and it could even be a turning point for green mobility. All this is written in a declaration they will be presenting on Tuesday in Graz (Austria).
In the – according to insiders, probably final – draft text, the word ‘transition’ appears at least six times, which means that goal is to completely reorganize traffic flows and mobility. In other words, new laws on sustainable mobility need to be ready within three years and European funds have to be intended for the transformation of mobility.
The strategy for 2021 has to accelerate the introduction of cars with low or zero emissions and the arrival of the electric car. Choices have to be made for alternative fuels and cleaner transport by rail and by shipping. Digital platforms have to provide new mobility options, like more attractive trains and the link to ‘active mobility’, on foot or by bike.
Paris’ Climate Agreement
Striking fact is that the ministers insist on taking health advantages into account when planning and calculating new transport infrastructure, meaning that plans for bicycle infrastructure should get priority over new roads or parking lots, for instance.
Fortunately, several European cities have understood that the car no longer needs to occupy the centre stage in the city and are gearing up, making cities more attractive for bike-riders. Some even have the ambition to transform their city into a ‘bicycle paradise’, like the Flemish city of Courtrai recently announced.
Everything should be integrated as efficient as possible. Trading in polluting cars for cleaner ones, will not do, because this way traffic jams will not be solved. The text also stipulates that CO2 emission standards should further go down to comply with the Paris’ Climate Agreement.
Green economical growth
The ministers also are convinced that all this will be economically feasible. The draft text explicitly says that “the transformation to a clean, green mobility will be a crucial stimulus for green economical growth with new opportunities for companies and green jobs.”