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Transport Transformation

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy

The European Commission presented its "Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy" together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide the work for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

“To reach our climate targets, emissions from the transport sector must get on a clear downward trend. Today's strategy will shift the way people and goods move across Europe and make it easy to combine different modes of transport in a single journey. We've set ambitious targets for the entire transport system to ensure a sustainable, smart, and resilient return from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Frans Timmermans

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal

The content to be read here is part of the speech given by Executive Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner Vălean of the European Commission on the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

The full speech by the European Commission can be read on >>

Milestones for a smart and sustainable future

All transport modes need to become more sustainable, with green alternatives widely available and the right incentives put in place to drive the transition. Concrete milestones will keep the European transport system's journey towards a smart and sustainable future on track:

By 2030

  • at least 30 million zero-emission cars will be in operation on European roads

  • 100 European cities will be climate neutral

  • high-speed rail traffic will double across Europe

  • scheduled collective travel for journeys under 500 km should be carbon neutral

  • automated mobility will be deployed at a large scale

  • zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready

By 2035

  • zero-emission large aircraft will be market-ready

By 2050

  • nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles will be zero-emission.

  • rail freight traffic will double.

  • a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high-speed connectivity

  • 10 key areas for action to make the vision a reality


For transport to become sustainable, in practice this means:

  • Boosting the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, vessels and aeroplanes, renewable & low-carbon fuels and related infrastructure – for instance by installing 3 million public charging points by 2030.

  • Creating zero-emission airports and ports – for instance through new initiatives to promote sustainable aviation and maritime fuels.

  • Making interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable - for instance by doubling high-speed rail traffic and developing extra cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years.

  • Greening freight transport – for instance by doubling rail freight traffic by 2050.

  • Pricing carbon and providing better incentives for users – for instance by pursuing a comprehensive set of measures to deliver fair and efficient pricing across all transport


Innovation and digitalisation will shape how passengers and freight move around in the future if the right conditions are put in place. The strategy foresees:

  • Making connected and automated multimodal mobility a reality – for instance by making it possible for passengers to buy tickets for multimodal journeys and freight to seamlessly switch between transport modes.


  • Boosting innovation and the use of data and artificial intelligence (AI) for smarter mobility – for instance by fully supporting the deployment of drones and unmanned aircraft and further actions to build a European Common Mobility Data Space.


The European Green Deal includes a target to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. The Commission intends to adopt a comprehensive strategy to meet this target and ensure that the EU transport sector is fit for a clean, digital and modern economy.


Objectives include:

  • increasing the uptake of zero-emission vehicles

  • making sustainable alternative solutions available to the public & businesses

  • supporting digitalisation & automation

  • improving connectivity & access

This push to transform transport comes at a time when the entire sector is still reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus. With increased public and private investment in the modernisation and greening of our fleets and infrastructure, and by reinforcing the single market, we now have a historic opportunity to make European transport not only more sustainable but more competitive globally and more resistant to any future shocks.

However, this evolution should leave nobody behind: it is crucial that mobility is available and affordable for all, that rural and remote regions remain connected, and that the sector offers good social conditions and provides attractive jobs.


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