Cleaning Up Transport in Europe
The Commission’s CO2 Standards
The transportation sector is an essential economic driver, connecting businesses and people around the world. It is inextricably linked to many other sectors including energy, tech, digital and agriculture, to name a few. It is at the intersection of urban planning, logistics, infrastructure, and personal freedom. The car as we know it today is arguably the most important invention of the 20th century, and demand for mobility is on the rise. The European Commission has estimated that from 2010 to 2050, passenger transport will grow by about 42 percent. With this growth comes a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint. But before we talk CO2, let’s take a look at the state of affairs for this revolutionary and controversial industry in Europe…
When conducting a situational analysis of the automobile industry, it would be prudent to first acknowledge all of the societal benefits the industry provides, as well as its economic contribution. This industry alone accounts for 12.6 million jobs across the EU, which is about 5.7 percent of the entire workforce. It also accounts for approximately 6.8% of the EU’s GDP, and is the largest private investor of R&D in Europe, with more than €50 billion invested annually. In terms of trade, it is a global player delivering EU products around the world, and bringing in €90 billion in trade surplus.
And that’s not to mention the obvious societal benefits that the freedom of movement allows for, which provide us with direct access to goods, services, education, jobs, and healthcare. Many of the public services in our everyday lives also rely on this industry to deliver our products, collect our waste, and provide emergency responses. The automotive industry is undeniably linked to our welfare.