Online meeting on 5 April 2023 (research related meeting)

During the meeting, the results of surveys conducted among employees and employers were discussed. The main expert presented then presented an outline of the comparative report. She noted that she tried to highlight the good practices that were described in the national reports (they mainly concerned the process of greening cities). Unfortunately, what emerged from the national reports was a picture of incomplete dialogue, both bipartite and tripartite, around the issues of digitization and transportation greening. The need to strengthen it is apparent.

In the next part of the meeting, a discussion was held on further activities in the project in the form of tool kits (meeting participants committed to send comments to the project expert) and informative videos.

The expert presented the content of the 10 articles that were developed for the project.

•              EU works on new CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans

Passenger cars and vans (light commercial vehicles) are respectively responsible for around 12% and 2.5% of total EU emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the main greenhouse gas.

The Fit for 55 legislative proposals covers a wide range of policy areas including climate, energy, transport, and taxation, setting out the ways in which the Commission will reach its updated 2030 target in real terms.

•              How to green the trucks? The scale of the challenge is enormous

Trucks and buses account for about a quarter of the EU’s CO2 emissions from road transport and some 6 percent of the bloc’s total emissions. To hit its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the EU needs transport emissions to fall by 90 percent compared to 1990 levels.

That means at least 270,000 battery-electric trucks and 60,000 fuel-cell trucks will have to be on EU roads by the end of the decade There are two technologies vying for leadership in zero-emission trucks — batteries and hydrogen. Both have pluses and minuses and both rely on a radical reshaping of the European transport market.

•              How to make e- comerce greener?

It is also worth identifying the environmental impact of shopping and, in this context, comparing stationary shopping to e-commerce. Two perspectives are important:

First: Where this environmental footprint arises – the institutionalized part of the value chain (production, warehouses, logistics, shop) and the consumer part (i.e. how we make the purchase);

Secondly: What this footprint is (e.g. the consumption of packaging materials, the consumption of water and chemicals, or the consumption of fuel, electricity, and heat – collectively responsible for the carbon footprint).

•              Key information and challenges – transport sector

The transport sector also has various adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Thus, it is a major contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change and contributes to air pollution, acid rain, eutrophication, crop and forest damage, natural resource depletion, habitat fragmentation, and waste generation. The transport sector also poses significant risks to human health through road injury, air and noise pollution, and traffic congestion. Direct GHG emissions from the transport sector account for at least 25% of total emissions. Across countries, transport’s share of national greenhouse gases emissions ranges from under 10 percent in Kazakhstan to more than 50 percent in Sweden and Luxembourg.

•              How to make train transport greener?

Rail transport is the most environment-friendly way to travel. The greenhouse effect of gas emissions per kilometer on railway transport is 80% less than cars. In some countries, less than 3% of all transport gas emissions come from trains.

This does not mean, of course, that measures cannot be taken to make rail transport even more environmentally friendly.

Planting more trees and nurturing biodiversity on network rail land, reducing waste within network supply chains, and developing long-term strategies to improve the railway’s resilience in the face of climate change are just some of the ways they plan to maximize the positive contribution of rail for passengers.

•              Social Climate Found

As part of the revision of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) under the Fit for 55 legislative package, the European Commission is proposing to extend emissions trading to the building and road transport sectors. Emissions from these sectors will not be covered by the existing EU ETS, but by a new, separate emissions trading system. To address any social impacts that arise from this new system, the Commission proposed to introduce the Social Climate Fund.

•              Emissions Trading System reform and EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Following a plenary debate on 7 June 2022, European Parliament adopted its position on three key EU laws that are part of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package”. This is the EU’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and to have net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050, in line with the European Climate Law.

•              How to make air transport greener?

Aviation emits more than carbon dioxide; it also produces water vapor, aerosols, and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants absorb more incoming energy than what is radiated back to space, causing Earth’s atmosphere to warm. This means aviation’s impact on warming might be an even bigger share than its carbon footprint.

•              How to make shipping greener?

By using resources and space wisely in the port, management runs more smoothly. This cuts down on losing time and other resources due to errors. Environmental impact reports are also key.

Fast delivery without leaving home is arguably the biggest appeal of the ecommerce industry, and it also gives brands a competitive advantage if they offer 2-day or less shipping. Behind the scenes of fast shipping are the harmful effects it has on the environment. Last-mile delivery, close behind freight movement, is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution.

•              How to make transport greener?

Cycle highways are high quality cycling routes built for long distance cycling. These can be made up of cycle lanes, tracks, or routes that are separated from roads. For example, Denmark’s municipalities and its Capital Region collaborated to build a network of bicycle paths called Cycle Superhighways across the Capital Region. Greenways connect people and places through land corridors. These spaces are located within rivers, streams, or abandoned railway tracks. Besides acting as a convenient and efficient route, they also help improve water quality, reduce flooding, and protect natural habitats. Moreover, greenways can help generate economic activity, enhance recreational spaces, encourage physical activity, and improve people’s overall quality of life.

It was agreed that the informative videos (about 45 seconds each) will deal with greening in the various sub-sectors of transport (road, sea, rail and air)

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.