Future of Transport
One step closer to sustainability
Commenting on today's vote in the European Parliament on the report for a sustainable future of transport, Michael Cramer MEPand Eva Lichtenberger MEP, spokespersons on transport of the Greens/EFA group said:
"By voting in favour of the report on the future of transport today, we have managed to put the question of how to achieve a modal shift towards more sustainable modes of transport back on the agenda of EU transport politics. Due to the incorporation of a few amendments from the Greens/EFA, the report is now more balanced and in a few aspects even positive.
"However, the following still holds true: Unsustainable forms of transport in the EU are too cheap, only the environmentally friendly modes of transport are expensive and this is politically intentional. Currently, there is a mandatory and financially unlimited toll on every kilometre of rail, while at the same time road tolls are voluntary and capped. Additionally, the great climate villain, air traffic, is subsidised to the tune of 30 billion every year by the European tax payer. This unfair competition has to change if we are serious about the sustainable future of the transport sector! Therefore we Greens cannot comprehend that we could not win a majority for our proposal to reduce the CO2-emissions in the entire transport sector by 30% by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). The report calls for a 20% reduction, but only for air and road traffic. Compared to other sectorswhich have achieved a 10% reduction since 1990, such as industry and housing, where heat insulation has improved, the emissions in the transport sector have risen by 35%!
Unfortunately the majority of the Parliament rejected our proposal to invest at least 40% in the more environmentally friendly railways, a maximum of 20% into roads and at least 15% into pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the area of EU co-financing. Instead, the EU continues to back environmentally detrimental transport: 60% of the funds go into roads, only 20% into railways and 0.9% into bicycle transport. This really has to change!"