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S&Ds welcome the new Mobility Package, but it should be matched by financial incentives and investments


Social Europe & Jobs
Today S&Ds welcomed the adoption of the third set of measures for a cleaner and safer transport system in Europe. It is the final part of the Mobility Package, which along with the circular economy and recent legislation on energy efficiency and renewables lays the foundation for a sustainable and healthier economic model.
S&Ds specially welcome CO2 targets being set for trucks for the first time and also the action plan on batteries, which relies on the ethical use of resources - in line with the re-use and recycle logic of the circular economy.
S&D vice-president for sustainability, Kathleen Van Brempt, said:
“It is urgent to decarbonise our transport. The current model wastes resources and is highly pollutant. The measures proposed today set the ground for a new model, but we must also make sure that the financial incentives and investments are there. There is a great economic and job potential in this transition, but the industry needs both incentives to invest in innovation and clear long-term rules.
“At last we see the introduction of CO2 emissions targets for trucks – which could have also been extended to buses-. Heavy duty vehicles account for less than 5% of all traffic on the roads, but represent 25% of road transport's fuel use and carbon emissions. Ultra fuel-efficient trucks will save money, boost the economy and protect the environment. Ultra efficient buses, or even electric buses, would also pay off.
“We have learned lessons from the Dieselgate scandal and we should act accordingly: Let’s enable the transition to the electric fleet. Batteries are key: energy storage is indispensable to use renewables. The Commission is right to look at the full value chain. If we want to support the use of renewables, we have to inevitably support research, innovation and production in the field of batteries. The extraction and exploitation of raw materials used in lithium-ion batteries must be sustainable and Europe’s economy could benefit from ensuring the recycling and re-using. A competitive and sustainable battery value chain in Europe is a strategic priority, and our group is leading this effort in the Parliament through a cross-party initiative launched by S&D MEP Pavel Poc."
S&D spokesperson on transport, Ismail Ertug, said:
“The proposals on passenger and road user safety will contribute to reducing fatalities and severe injuries in road accidents. It will be mandatory to equip cars with advanced emergency breaking systems, lane-keeping systems and other intelligent driver assistants like intelligent speed assistance and reversing detection.
“Unfortunately most fatal accidents with buses and trucks occur when they run over pedestrians or cyclists. The new mandatory systems for the detection of road users nearside the vehicle and design requirements for better drivers' sight will hopefully help to save lives.
“Autonomous cars are no longer a futuristic vision. The first models are already on the road and could be commonplace by 2030. We very much welcome the Commission's strategy which will enable a mass market for this technology as autonomous cars can help reduce pollution, traffic and enhance road safety."