United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

Mister Chairman, your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
I have the honour to participate, on behalf of the European Union and its 27
Member States.
Mobility constitutes an essential aspect of our lives. To achieve sustainable
development, access to transportation and greater mobility for all must be
Currently, the transport sector is the fastest growing economic sector in most
developing countries and the largest end-user of energy in many developed
The growth in transport worldwide causes significant environmental problems,
such as air pollution, noise or loss of habitats. In addition, growth in traffic
increases the risk of congestions and accidents worldwide.
The Copenhagen Accord of 2009 sets a global goal of limiting global warming to
2°C. The transport sector has a significant role to play in the efforts to meet
these targets.
The European Commission just released a new European strategy for
encouraging the development and use of clean and energy efficient vehicles.
The strategy contains an Action Plan of concrete measures on vehicle emission
reduction, guidelines for demand-side incentives and support of research and
innovation in green technologies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have some big challenges to face as transport systems depend on multiple
Mobility contributes to economic growth but there is a need to provide better
mobility choices for people and better logistics for goods.

The EU has already implemented various measures to make transport more
environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Stricter Euro emission standards have contributed to an improved air quality in
European cities. A regulation on CO2 standards for new passenger cars and in
the near future for small vans aims at making the European vehicle fleet more
energy efficient.
The amendment of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive includes
aviation in the ETS and applies to all arriving and departing flights in the EU from
But, despite the efforts, there is still a lot to be done to achieve sustainable
mobility, especially to decouple transport growth from its negative effects on
environment and health.
We need to apply a wide range of policy instruments and measures. A more
integrated strategy is also necessary.
We still have to work on it focusing on the following key elements:
1- Transport demand must be optimized.
More attention should be given to exert influence on the ever increasing demand
for transport. It is crucial to promote and facilitate behavioural change.
External costs have to be internalised, e.g. through road pricing, energy taxation,
emission trading systems or other appropriate market based instruments.
2- Sustainable transport systems and mobility habits are needed
We have to think about further promoting sustainable forms of mobility including
multi-modal operations. Especially in urban areas and cities public
transportation, where non-motorized modes and mobility management need to
be fostered.

3- Transport must be de-carbonised.
We need a transition to highly efficient transport systems with low or near-zero
GHG emissions.
The deployment of efficiency potentials of conventional propulsion systems as
well as development, deployment and transfer of new technology are key factors
for a sustainable transport system.
A wide range of other actions can be taken such as the use of sustainably
produced bioenergy and changes in logistics and production processes.
4- Transport modes must become cleaner, quieter and safer.
It is essential to reduce air polluting emissions from all transport modes, noise
pollution from traffic and call for more activities in the field of transport safety.
5- We need to facilitate global solutions.
Sustainable transport contributes significantly to the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals. Transport innovation in Europe acts as a model
for many developing and emerging countries.
Demonstration and transfer of know-how and capacity development assistance
are a key to achieving more sustainable transport systems.
Thank you all for your attention