How to reform European transport and tackle rising emissions

Season 4, Episode 17,  Apr 24, 2018, 12:36 PM

The EU's transport sector is now a significant burden in the context of commitments made under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Transport is the only sector in which Europe's CO2 emissions are now higher than in 1990.

Countermeasures are imperative, but it is not a simple challenge to abandon car-friendly policies; policymakers are not blind to economic benefits brought about by the automotive industry in the past.

In this episode of 'The Sound of Economics', Bruegel fellows Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann discuss the findings of a Policy Brief that they have co-written containing policy prescriptions for cleaning up Europe's transport sector.

Utilising taxation, as well as funds already allocated within the current multiannual financial framework, the EU can incentivise change not only in the habits of Europe's citizens but its industry leaders too, promoting the policy discussion at country- and city-level where locally appropriate plans and changes can be introduced. Though the EU's research and development funding for transport is dwarfed by that of the continent's automotive sector, there are fields in which the EU can take the lead – fields which private money would otherwise leave undeveloped.